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Full text of "The salvage of a sailor [microform]"

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THE 3ALVAGE 
n^ A SAILOR 



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THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 



OTHER BOOKS 
BY THE SAME AUTUOK 

TH« CRUISE or THE CACHALOT 

IDYLLS or THE SEA 

WITH CHRIST AT SEA 

THE LOG or A SEA WAir 

THE MEN or THE MERCHANT SERVICE 

A WHALEMAN'S WirE 

A SACK or SHAKINGS 

SEA SPRAy _ .„ 

THE APOSTLES OP THE SOUTHEAST 

DEEP SEA PLUNDERINGS 

SEA PURITANS 

CREATURES OF THE SEA 

A SON or THE SEA 

SEA- WRACK 

A BOUNTY BOY 

rRANK BROWN, SEA APPRENflCE 

THE SEED OF THE RIGHTEOUS 

THE CALL OF THE DEEP 

^SSNG^E^irOR, THE PIRATE HUNTER 

BEYOND 

CUT Orr FROM THE WORLD 

riGHTINO THE ICEBERGS 

TOLD IN THE DOG WATCHES 

BACK TO SUNNY SEAS 

ADVANCE, AUSTRALASIA I 

THE CONrESSIONS OF A TRADESMAN 

A COMPLEAT SEA-COOK 

OUR HERITAGE, THE SEA 




•"IF YK AIN'T Ol!T IX TWO MIXITKS, I'l.l. BE AFTKK YE, AMI 
HEIT THE HEAIJS OFF YK' " 

[f. !«■ 



THE SALVAGE 
OF A SAILOR 



BY 



FRANK T. BULLEN, F.R.G.S. 

AUTHOR OP 
"( COMPLBAT S1!A-<:..0K," " THB CUIIUB (,p THl CACHALOT," ETC. 



ILLUSTRATED BY ERSEST PRATER 



TORONTO 

THE MUSSON BOOK COMPANY 
LIMITED 



Ua'5 



911395 



CONTENTS 



CHAP. 


^ ' 


I SKA WARFARE . 


nut 

li 


II DRIVEN LABOUR 


20 


HI STKRH SCHOOLINO 


32 


IV PATINO aOORES . 


42 


V THE SALVAQE BEOINNlJro 


53 


VI SALVAGE PROBLEMS . 


66 


VII THE BIRTH OP A SODL 


80 


VIII WASTERS AGAIN . 


93 


« RUNNING THE BASTING DOWN 


. 108 


I THE END OP A PASSAGE . 


124 


II THE COPING STONE 


. 142 


III BO'SUN BAITING . 


. 153 


"II MUTINY 


. 168 


XIV AN OBDINART PASSAGE 


. 186 


XV A SPLENDID START 


■ 198 


XVI A BAPPT SHIP . 

_■-■ 


. 211 



CONTENTS 



vm 

OSAT. 

XVII FIBB AND WAVB 

XVIII BOATING OFF CAPB HORN 

IIX SEA MIRACLES . 

XX A MYSTERIOOS AILMENT 

XXI A BORPRISB 

XXII CONCLOSION 



rAOi 
228 

246 



273 
282 
296 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



" ' IF YE ain't out in TWO MINUTES, i'lL BE AFTER VB, 

AND BELT THE HEADS OFF tk'" . Frontispiece 

" ' WB WANTS OUR LIBERTY AN' A MONTH'S WAGES, WHAT 

we've earned'" 36 

"willie found himself holden within a orabp 

which nearly cracked his ribs " . . . 103 

" over, over she went, the waters all aboil around 

HEB" 131 

"A BULLET OAME — PINO ! THROUGH THE FLESHY FART 

OF HIS arm" 173 

" THE ENTHUSIASTIC CREW . . . FLEW TO EACH HALLIARD 

AND sheet" 213 

" ' I FEEL THAT WE ARE BALANCED ON THE VERY EDGE 
or DEATH, AND I DON't WANT TO DIE WITHOUT 
KNOWING THAT YOU LOVED ME ' " . . . 243 

"'OOME, UP YOU get! i'vE GOOD NEWS FOE YOU'" . 285 



THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 



CHAPTER I 

SEA WARFARE 

" All hands on deck ! a-a-all ha-a-a-nds ! For 
God's sake hurry up, or she'll run under stern 
foremost ! Hurry up, you starboard watch ! " 

Indeed, there was a need for hurry. She, 
a four-masted sailing ship, the Megalon, laden 
down to her PlimsoU with salt from Liverpool 
for Calcutta, had been caught aback in one of 
the worst places in the world, off the "pitch " 
of the Cape of Good Hope, and the watch on 
deck. Heaven help them, had about as much 
value m this emergency as a mar trying to push 
a wagon up a hill. So it was o wonder that 
the mate tore his lungs in a yell or " All hands ! " 
and beat frantically upon the forecastle door with 
a belaying pin as a man might locked within a 
room in a burning house. 

Where he stood was the realm of chaos and 
Old Night. Utter blackness, surging waters, and 
an elemental roar pervading space ; the voice of 
wmd and sea when there is nought to hinder 



m 



12 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

their high revels. This infinitesimal speck of 
a ship with all its little humanities about it was 
of exactly the same account as the bubbles on 
the spume that lashed the waiting, shouting man. 

Perhaps some sense of this insignificance did 
attack him, softening the rigid muscles and 
slackening the set of his square jaw. But 
only for a moment. The man in him sprang 
up against the degrading idea o' base surrender, 
and again he roared out his summons. This 
time it was answered by the door bumping back 
and seven wild-eyed, half -dressed men appearing, 
who plunged into the foaming flood on deck and 
rushed aft, not seeing the mate or not heeding 
him. But when they got to the break of the 
poop where the rest of the watch on deck were 
standing by awaitinat orders, matters were taken 
out of their hands; indeed, they had been so 
from the first, the poor handful of men not being 
able to cope with the first necessities of the 
situation, as treble their number could have done. 
The mighty entanglement of steel and rope and 
canvas aloft began to give way to the abnormal 
strain upon it, and, although the horrible uproar 
of its going wr.s completely dumbed by the all- 
subduing riot of wind and wave, was being dis- 
persed like autumn leaves over the invisible sea. 

This failure of the masts and sails to with- 
stand the shock of the wind saved the ship, 



SEA WARFARE 



18 



because she had already begun to "root into 
^he sea like an old sow " (the term is not mine, 
but her mate's), and had lifted three mighty 
masses of water on to her poop which threatened 
to bury her. Ships are built to bow the sea, not 
to sail stern first, and until they are des ntd 
like the Braekstad Draker, or on the model of a 
whaleboat, they cannot make stern way without 
danger. Wherefore, in spite of th" appalling 
prospect ahead of them with such a crew, the 
skipper and ofiicers of the Megaton realised 
that there, was hope o. her weathering it, a 
matter abc-ut which they had been "ery doubtful 
before. 

To the uninitiated, however, matters would 
have presented a hopeless aspect. There was 
more wind, if possible a deeper darkness, and 
a more deafening roar. And still, by reason of 
certain fragments which reached the wallowing 
decks, it was evident that the destruction aloft 
was not yet complete. Then suddenly there 
came a shift of wind. It smote the Megalon on 
her starboaid side, and heeled her over until her 
deck was at such a slope that all hands must 
needs hold on and crawl by any projecting means 
to windward, since to stay tc leeward was to 
drown. 

The danger was only shifted, for now she lay 
across the sea, which became moie broken and 



14 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

aggressive, towering in peaks and breaking any- 
where. Still, it became lighter, the awful black- 
ness broke, revealing jagged masses of cloud 
being hurled furiously across a moonlit sky, and 
underneath the appalling confusion of the sea. 
The mass of the Megalon was just a toy, but the 
work of her builders was tested to the utmost, 
not a rivet or stringer but bore an imcalculiled 
straiu ; nevertheless, all honour to the good work- 
men, it stood the test. 

Just here the man appears about whom this 
story is written. You, dear reader, may call 
him the hero if you like ; I don't, for in him I 
discern nothing of heroic — just plain man, end 
the manly part so hidden as to want more 
finding than usual. They were an undistin- 
guished crowd, not one of them worth a pen- 
scrape, just the kind that would man a sailing 
ship to-day, because no other craft would carry 
them. Poor wretches; untrained, half starved, 
with no hopes, no ambitions, no stamina, the 
scrapings and wastrels of a great sea -port, whose 
only idea was to get away somewhere ; to some 
fo'c'sle where they could loaf and smoke and 
growl protected by our kindly laws, and make the 
officers' and apprentices' lives hateful by reason 
of their unwillingness and inability to do what 
they signed for. 

Dick Mort was just one of them ; no better. 



SEA WARFARE 



15 



no worse; a seafarer of such a low type that 
to call him a sailor was a sort of blasphemy, and 
his only worthy characteristic a certain animnl- 
li'-» ability to endure cold and hunger and 
thirst without these privations having much 
effect upon him. He stood huddled with, and 
undistinguishable from, his shipmates, all of 
whom were prepared to endure, but certainly 
to shirk doing whatever could by any means be 
avoided, when like a suddenly erected hill 
there arose upon the port side an enormous 
mass of black water which curved inboard 
silently, fatafully, until it broke in a terrible 
overwhelming flood. There was silence, such 
pitiful ejaculations as might have been heard 
under other conditions being dumbed by ele- 
mental uproar, until after a few year-long seconds 
the Megaton, still staunch, heaved her sorely 
battered hull clear of the sea. Then it was dis- 
covered that the human portion of her equipment 
still existed, clinging bat-like, lizard-Uke to 
various portions of her, some of them slightly 
damaged, but all— no! "Where's Dick?" 
queried a voice. 

Oh, he's all right ! " sneered the mate ; " in 
his bunk most likely, if he ain't stowed away 
somewhere dodgin' Pompey as usual. Still, 
better make sure after a sea Hke that. Dick' 
Dick Mort ! ! " 



16 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

And the summoning cry went up from half 
a dozen throats, but was almost immediately 
followed by a warning yell from the mate. 

"Hold on everybody, here's another 
coming ! " at which the seekers flung them- 
selves at the nearest holding-on points while 
another mighty sea poured its dark masses on 
to the long-enduring ship's decks as if deter- 
mined to make an end of her. This was a far 
heavier sea than the last, and the ship took 
longer to recover from it, but sV"* did rise event- 
ually, showing very bare and forlorn as the 
sullen sea reluctantly le*'* her decks. As the 
last of it gurgled in the ippers the eager eye 
of the mate caught sight of a helpless bundle 
rolling there, and with . shout for aid, he 
rushed forward and snatched at it. Two of 
the app'-'-ntices and the third mate ran to his 
assistance, and between them they raised the 
limp, dank body and bore it into the saloon, 
where the steward briskly prepared a spare cabin 
while they laid their burden upon a settee, and 
by the light of a swinging lamp discovered it to 
be Dick Mort. 

There was a swift ejaculation from the mate, 
but it was no time for leisurely wonder, and 
leaving one of the lads to help the steward, 
Mr. Bingham rushed on deck again to find that 
there were men miysing, and the back of the gale 



SEA WARFARE 



17 



was evidently broken. The captain's voice from 
the poop roused him from a momentary 
reverie, and he shouted, "Aye, aye, sir," in 
orthodox reply, as he made the best of his way 
to his chief, who awaited him by the mizen 
rigging looking worn and old after his terrible 
vigil. 

"Worst of it's over, I think, Bingham," said 
the skipper wearily, " but it's made a pretty mess 
of us — and here, too ! " 
^^ " That's not the worst, sir," growled the mate ; 

Mort's all broke up in the saloon, I shouldn't 
wonder if he was dead by now, and there's three 
others missin' ! " 

"Merciful Father!" gasped the skipper. 
"Have yuu searched everywhere? They might 
be skulking." 

"No, not this time, sir. They've done all 
the skrimshankin' they'll ever do, I'm afraid. 
I should have heard before now if there was 
any hope, sir. But perhaps it would be as well 
to have a peep at Mort. He may not be so bad 
as I think, an' anyhow, it's just as well to make 
sure. An' I can look after her now all right- 
only wants the wreck clearing away for the 
present." 

The skipper assented with a word or two, 
and after a glance at the compass and a 
comprehensive look around at the clearing 



18 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

sky, dived below to find that his steward, 
good fellow, had a scalding cup of coffee 
awaiting him as if he had timed his descent to 
a minute. 

" Thanks, steward ; what about Mort ? " 

"Well, he ain't dead, sir, an' that's about 
all I can say. I made him as comfortable as 
I could without handlin' him too much, for it 
seemed to me as if all his bones was broken. 
But he didn't seem to take no notice o' what I 
did." 

The captain took three strides into the cabin 
where Mort lay, and choking down a certain 
feeling of nausea began to feel the wretched 
body. "Steward! " he cried presently, "bring 
a bit of paper and a pencil. Have you got it? 
All right, then. Enter : five ribs broken, two 
right, three left ; right leg broken in two places ; 
both arms broken, and many bad bruises. That's 
aU." 

" Now I want all the thin boards you've got, 
and all the bandages out of the medicine chest, 
besides one of my sheets. I think that will do 
for the present." 

And then began a scene of surgery to stagger 
any surgeon : the handling of such a number of 
comprehensive injuries in a dimly lighted cabin 
and under the most awkward conditions imagin- 
able, while as for the septic surroundings, the 



SEA WARFARE 



19 

note? If?? ?r '^' ^"^'•- It <^«° only be 
noted that the body to be handled had not been 

washed for two months. The clothes u^n i^ 
ah ! well we need not go into these matters, but 
proceed to state that at the end of two houj the 
kipper emerged, his task completed after a 
fashion and himself exhausted. 

steward t '° *^f°' "P ^'^ ^^ «PP^«^ that the 
of X^nT?'^ '""F"'^'^ « "t"« brandy out 
but th.T^'''' '""^''^^ ^"PP"^d to the ship. 

make a Mli I'^l ^ '°*'/- ^"* ^^'^ ''^«- 
make a httle beef tea and put a spoonful of 

brandy m it and try and get Mort to tarrStle 

I can't understand his being alive and not tak ng 

any notice after what I've done for him. l^f 



CHAPTER II 



DRIVEN LABOUR 



Returning to the deck, though every ibre of 
him was like a hot wire, and the animal protested 
fiercely against its treatment by the spirit. 
Captain Houghton dragged himself wearily to 
windward and gazed with dim eyes, first into the 
brightening East and then at the forlorn wreck 
upon which he stood. And at that moment a 
sense of nausea almost overcame him, for Uke the 
flash of a searchlight there came to him a vision 
of himself joining his first ship, a quarter of a 
century ago, a ruddy-faced, high-hearted boy, 
brimming over with youthful courage and con- 
fidence in his ability to conquer the worst difli- 
culties of his profession. 

And now, old in body but not in years, wise 
in sea lore, but how infinitely wiser in sorrow as 
the result of his experience, not in the way of 
the sea or in the way of a ship m the midst 
thereof, but in the miry, devious ways of men 
connected with seafaring, and especially those 
who ruled it from the land! But, as with his 
mate a few hours before, the natural elasticity 



DRIVEN LABOUR 21 

of a healthy man's mind reasserted its sovereiimtv 
over the weaiy body, and he stiffened up, his eye 
brightened and he resumed his overlordship of 
himself and his crew. 

"Good old Meggy! " he muttered; "you've 
stood what very few would have done this 
night, and lame duck though you are aloft, 
1 11 bet you re as tight as a bottle below, thanks 
to the British workman. One dishonest rivet 
and Messrs. Fox, Weasel and Co. would have 
drawn their msurr » with solemn faces, and put 
the money m stean^, perhaps. But I think not 
this journey. Well, Bingham." as the mate 
came slowly up the lee gangway, "what do 
you think of it?" 

"Might be worse, sir," replied that worthy 
cheerily, "which isn't saying that it mightn't 
be a lump better. If we'd only got a few 
sailors . . but these dock rats-why, it's cruelty 
animals to send them -loft, and as it is there's 
feUer '''' "^^ '^"'-^'''e^^' Nosey and the queer 

"Oh, that won't do, Bingham," hastily inter- 
rupted the skipper. " Don't you know the tallies 
lik^ hi" PP^^ "^''^'■^ ' can't log them 

"You can easily find out from the articles, 
s^i they all took a pierhead jump at the 
Wappmg Dock and you signed 'em on aboard 



22 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

— ^you'll find their tallies in the articles. As 
for their dunnage, they hadn't got any ; if they 
had there wouldn't be much trace of it left now. 
You know what the things they call sailors are 
nowadays, don't you, sir? " 

As if his last words had not been heard the 
captain musingly questioned the mate. 
"What's the worst of it, Bingham? " 
"Fore topmast gone at the hounds, main 
topmast halfway up, mizr ■> to'-gallant mast 
gone at the cap, jigger mast all right, bow- 
sprit soUd Fore yard, main and main topsail 
yards, cro'jack, and mizen topsail yards, all 
available." 

" Oh, come," replied the skipper, " that ain't 
half bad! Now, it's in my mind we'd better 
make for Port Louis. We'll get there easier 
than anywhere else, for this southerly weather's 
going to last, if I'm any judge, and we'll be 
runnin' into fine weather all the time. It's true 
the hurricane season's on, but we must risk that, 
and anyhow, hurricanes ain't plentiful. So as 
soon as you're ready, we'll square away, so as 
not to miss the best of this fair wind." 

"All right, sir, it'll be an hour or two yet 
before my watch have got the deck clear, say 
eight bells, because we shall need to bend a new 
upper main topsail and fore sail — they blew away 
k;.t night." 



DRIVEN LABOUR 28 

" Oh, never mind them, let's get her off the 
wind with what we've got, she'll do better. 
And so will my patient— you forgot about 
him." 

"Oh, Dick," yawned the mate carelessly; 
" what about him ? I should have thought he'd 
been dead by this time from what I saw of him 
when we brought him in." 

"Dead, eh! " chuckled the skipper; "don't 
say the word to me. I'm going to bring that 
chap ashore m Calcutta as sound as ever he was 
in his life, now you mark me, an' I'll hold him 
up as a proof that, with all their education, long- 
shore medicos ain't in it with us when it comes 
to a really big job. At present, he's more like 
a mummy than anything else, but he's alive— 
at least he was— that reminds me." And he 
took two strides to the companion, down which 
he shouted, "Stoord, how's the patient? " 

"Doing wonderfully well, sir," came back in 
about a minute from the steward. " He's taken 
two lots of that beef-tea and brandy you ordered 
hini and I'm just getting him some more ready. 
He doesn't seem to come right to, not to get 
really conscious as you may say, but he takes 
that stuff down quite greedy like, and doesn't 
make any noise at all. I should say he's doing 
aU right, sir," 
" Thank you, Stoord. Give him the stuff little 



24 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

and often, but ouly a teaspoonful of brandy in 
each lot; it won't do to have him look for it 
regular," replied the skipper; then turning to 
the mate he said jovially — 

"What do you think o' that, Bingham, for an 
amateur saw-bones? Think the whole college 
of surgeons could have treated him more success- 
fully, eh? " 

"I think while there's a heap o' credit due 
to you, sir, an' you'll never get any, nor thanks 
neither, a good deal is due to the patient. That 
sort's more like a Chink than anything else. 
What'd kill a sensitive able man they take no 
notice of; they can't, they haven't got brains 
enough. I've no doubt he'll get all right again, 
though I'm sure he wouldn't if he was worth a 
hill of beans." 

The skipper looked at him musingly for a 
moment, then replied wearily, " Oh, well, we've 
got t' deal with 'em, poor devils, an' I don't 
suppose they can help it. Let me know as 
soon as you're ready to square away. I'll just 
go down and get a sluice and a change, and then 
I'll relieve you." 

So the two brave men parted, the skipper to 
refresh his wearied body, the mate to resume 
his thankless task of driving the not merely 
unwilling, but incapable crew to do the barest 
necessary work for the saving of the ship. 



p 



DRIVEN LABOUR 25 

Little of it was or could be constructional, it 
wus perfurce limited for the time to clearing 
away wreckage, hacking and hewing and drag- 
ging. But the men were without heart, half 
starved, hopeless, not a single aspiration among 
them save to get warmed and fed. Oh, it is all 
very well to gird at them, but a terrible responsi- 
bility lies upon those whose callous selfishness 
has brought them to this pass, and worse 
still, has flung the onus of keeping them at 
work upon men and boys who deserve a better 
fate. 

So they pulled and dragged perfunctorily at 
the writhen conglomeration of steel wire and 
tortured ironwork, caring nothing when their 
efforts were futile, looking surprised when they 
succeeded, but all miserable beyond descrip- 
tion, and appearing, as was indeed the case, 
as if but for the youthful enthusiasm and 
energy of the apprentices they would have lain 
down and allowed the sea to work its will of 
them. 

Still, as even the feeblest efforts if persisted 
in must have some effect, so by eight bells, 
8 a.m., the mass of wreckage was clear and it 
was possible to make such sail as remainea to the 
Megalon. The condition of things being re- 
ported to the skipper, he shouted as soon as eight 
bells struck — 



26 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

"Square away, men, weather main and lee 
cro'jack braces, put your helm up, my lad — oh ! 
well, your main yards, well, cro'jack ! Some of 
you weather fore braces, the rest haul taut to 
looard. Keep her N.E. by N., my lad," to the 
man at the wheel. "That'll do the watch, Mr. 
Bingham." 

The second mate was a fine upstanding sailor- 
man of thirty-two, middle aged, by sea chrono- 
logy, and trained in Yankee ships, where 
eflSciency was considered first, and the condition 
of the crew, except in the matter of feeding, 
not at all. "Put 'em through for all they're 
worth," was his motto, learned in that stem 
school, and although the sufferers by it hated 
him beyond the power of words to express, they 
watched him with a sort of dazed admiration for 
his bull voice, his indifference to fatigue, and his 
apparent ability to do anything and everything 
that came along. 

This man was a Londoner, caught young and 
reared in Nova Scotian and Yankee vessels, but 
for a very well-known reason he hailed from 
Boston, and called himself James J. Fisk. None 
of these trifles mattered though ; what did matter 
was the amazing way in which he got work done 
by creatures hardly worthy of the name of men, 
the uncanny ability he brought to bear upon 
every detail of his duty, and the incessant torrent 



DRIVEN LABOUR 



27 



of sulphurous abuse which flowed from his lips. 
You would have thought him a foaming 
torrent of irritability, yet in the midst of a 
perfect storm of violent language he would 
turn aside to crack a joke or give a gentle hint 
to the boys whom he loved, and for whom he 
spared no thought or labour that would help to 
fit them for their posts in the battle of the sea 
later. 

Such men as he are not loved, can hardly be 
in the nature of things, but there is no denying 
the fact that but for them the wheels of sea affairs 
would turn far less swiftly and easily, and would 
stop far more frequently than is now the case. 
Mankind may not love a man, but it admires 
him, and will obey him where it will affection- 
ately disobey one who has less force and more 
gentle consideration. 

It can hardly be denied that Mr. Fisk had a 
certain good-natured contempt, not only for 
the port watch, but for his colleague, the chief 
mate, whose British methods of easy tolerance 
for the shiftless and incapable were to him 
just an exhibition of weakness. And now when 
he heard that one of the poorest wastrels on 
board was being tenderly nursed and doctored 
in the cabin his disgust was great. His 
hapless watch knew it; like a pampero he 
raged behind them in everything they did. His 



28 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

bull-like roar pervaded the ship, and it is certain 
that, but for the skipper, most of his watch would 
have felt the weight of his fist or his foot that 
morning. 

But the work was done. He himself did 
twice as much as anybody else, so that by the 
time the skipper and the mate, sextant in 
hand, were watching for the sun's meridian 
altitude, not only was the Megalon making 
her six knots an hour freely, but the wreckage 
was trimmed down to something more like a 
ship-shape appearance, and the past appalling 
experience was, as usual, fading into dream- 
land. 

The weather fined rapidly, as the skipper had 
easily foretold, and consequently work proceeded 
as well as could be expected from such a crowd. 
More quickly than usual, because in that myste- 
rious way that such things do get about it was 
known to everybody that they were bound to 
the Mauritius, and, as ail sailors know, the 
prospect of breaking a long passage by a visit 
to some port is one that b. peals universally. 
The order to get the anchor and cables ready 
for port is one that I have never heard grumbled 
at. and I think the only one, and proves the 
disagreeable contention that the happiest time ■'' 
a sailor's life is when he is going into harbour. 
So all were in better spirits than usual, all. 






l| I 



I 



DRIVEN LABOUR n 

tliat is, but the skipper, who dreaded the com- 
munications from the owners which he was sure 
to rec^ve. But even he was cheered by a faint 
hope that the underwriters would recognise his 
ability in bringing the ship safely into port 
against such overwhelming odds; they might 
even give him a chronometer or a purse of gold, 
who knew? With this he endeavoured to 

ZT"t ?\;^^'l"8 «f despondency which 
«ould a tack him despite all his efforts, and 
meanwhile the Megahn, crippled aloft as she was, 
crept steadily northward at an easy five or six 
knots an hour. 

K r^ uT. "^s'^^te'J «"•• »oi-di8ant hero very 
badly, but he doesn't care. He is as comfortable 
as ever he was in his life. The mere accident 
of a few broken bones hardly bothered him who 
had seldom m his life been without some ghastly 
sore or wound, giving far more pain than a frac- 
ture, because impossible to keep quiet while 
moving about and not considered bad enough to 
be up for. Now he was compelled to lie quiet 
n order not to disturb the broken bones so 

SoS' ^"' ^^Tl"'' ••^P^''-^'^ ^y Captain 
Houghton. He had regained his conscious- 
ness and with It a sense of the comforts he was 
enjoymg which he expressed as best he could, 
rather fulsomely to the captain, and fully to the 



f 



80 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

His dull mind was unable to take in the reason 
why he was so valuable to the skipper ; in fact, 
he did not think of anything at all, but just lay 
and enjoyed the ministrations of the steward and 
captain, heightened by the knowledge that in '.he 
work incessantly going on overhead, work which 
he knew of by the weird cries reaching even to 
his quiet bunk, he could not be called upon to 
take his share. 

"It's well to be you, Dick," said the steward 
one day, when though very tired with legitimate 
work he had to attend upon the patient. " You 
lie here and have the best of everything, you gets 
waited on hand and foot, even the skipper looks 
after you as if yo. were Iiis firstborn, and then 
you turns to and goes to sleep like a baby, and 
nothing troubles you." 

Dick shed a tear or two — they came easy — 
and mumbled, " I couldn't help getting knocked 
all to pieces while I was doin' my dooty, could 
I? I ain't getting a bit better treatment than 
I ought, an' you know that. If I was ashore, 
I'd be in orspittle and have the best doctors in 
the land a-lookin' after me 'stead o' this 'ere. 
Not that I mind, 'cause I don't ; I'm willing to 
put up with anythink that a pore 'ard-workin' 
feller 'as ter put up wif. Wot's the odds s'long's 
you're 'appy? " And he lay back luxuriously, 



DRIVEN LABOUR 



81 



taking deep draws of the pipe that the skipper 
had R-ven him on the first intimation that he 
would be pleased with one. 

And while he smoked came the rattle and roar 
of the cable. The anchor had been let go in 
Port Louis, Mauritius, and already the vultures 
were flocking to their prey. 



CHAPTER III 



STERN SCHOOLING 

It is a cardinal belief among seafarers generally 
that there is nothing wrong in "doing," with all 
which that implies of downright rascality, two 
classes of people — underwriters and Govern- 
ments. The latter are seldom available for pre- 
datory purposes, but the former: let certain 
quarters of the world favourably situated to 
be the resort of ships in distress bear witness 
to the wholesale plundering carried on, because 
"the underwriters will have to foot the bill." 
Of these transactions so very plentiful in 
bygone days. Port Louis, Mauritius, was one 
of the most favoured centres, the more so 
because it was the happy hunting ground of 
a motley gathering of mixed races, none of 
whom had any scruples where money was to 
be made. 

Because of this, it was a place of tribula- 
tion for a captain who had some elementary 
principles of truth and honour; he soon found 
himself between the upper and nether mill- 
stones of his employers chafing at delay, and 
32 



STERN SCHOOLING 



88 



the crowd of sharks ashore who would let nothing 
pio^ess until he fell in with their notions of 
cl arging, and signed without demur such docu- 
ments as were necessary. Nor were these the 
least of his trials. His crew would get filthy 
liquors, would fall sick, would not work, and as 
usual he found himself compelled to overwork 
the willing officers and boys in order to keep the 
ship in anything like decent trim. 

All these things befell Captain Houghton and 
more, yet such was his pride in his patient that 
when the port doctor, a man about whose 
qualifications for his post the less said the better, 
tentatively hinted that he would take Dick off 
the captain's hands — "for good," he added, sig- 
nificantly — the captain replied somewhat indig- 
nantly that he was not going to allow all his care 
and skill to be wasted ; he would not let Dick be 
moved until he was thoroughly well, by which 
time he told himself, " I shall have lost all interest 
in him." 

So, throughout that weariful and strenuous 
time, in spite of the almost appalling difficulties 
with his crew, who seemed only to possess brains 
for the purpose of getting illicit drink and inci- 
dentally doing no work and making trouble for 
the afterguard, in spite of the disgusting and 
continual conflict with the gang of thieves ashore, 
and the despondency he felt in the incessant 






if 



84 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

struggle to preserve hk honesty, a struggle 
which sharply-worded cables from his owners 
did not make easier. Captain Houghton found 
his pleasantest recreation in dealing with the 
broken wastrel and lavishing upon him all the 
care and attention that a loving heart could 
suggest. 

At last — and no words can express the heart- 
felt relief of her officers at the knowledge— the 
Megajon was ready for sea. By the drastic 
exercise of power, all shore boats had been kept 
away from the side except where the most rigid 
supervision could be maintained during the day- 
time; none under any pretence were allowed 
alongside at night, this order involving fres*- 
hardship upon the overworked officers and ap- 
prentices. Such high-handed proceedings, how- 
ever much needed in the interests of decency and 
order, could not fail to arouse the strongest sense 
of antagonism in the minds of the crew, of whom 
there were still eleven capable of work in the 
forecastle. 

Therefore, when the heart-stirring order was 
issued by the fine voice of Mr. Bingham, of 
"Man the windlass," it was followed imme- 
diately by a discordant chorus of yells and 
oaths of defiance, the purport of all being 
that the crew wanted liberty and a month's 
pay before going to sea; failing the receipt of 




\^ !■• Vi; EAHSKK.' " 



fil 



W. ,17. 



STERN SCHOOLING 



87 

these necessaries they would do no more work 
and above a,, they would do notMng to ,ettt 

As usual the defiance was instantly followed 
by the order to "Lay aft all hands," and tTat 
agam by a curious diffidence on the part of the 
crew o meet the man they were defying 
Presently, however, there was a sort of swaggef : 
mg movement towards the door, and beingTy 
much like sheep, all hands followed. Thev 
marched aft and were confronted by the 
captam and his two officers, the apprenticed cook 
and steward, carpenter and boat^L^ be^g^ 
the background, the last two being uncountable 
because they were peaceful Scandinavians 

As soon as the motley crowd were assembled 
the captam stepped forward and said- 

Now then, men. what do you mean bv 
refusmg duty in this fashion? " ^ 

There was no answer for a few seconds until 
a big. truculent Liverpool Irishmarone o 

t on bone-idle, savage, and unmoral, spat 

" W '7T **"' '!r ''''^ ^^f«- him and sS 
We wants our hberty an' a month's wages 

and tL " H™'- "^'''^ '^° "i««- «'av?s » 

appval '" "'"' '^'^•"^ ^™ -""-ed 

'^I see! " crisply rejoined Captain Houghton. 



88 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

"Now, in the first place, none of you have 
earned a month's wages since you have been in 
the ship, and secondly, useless trash as you 
are, the law compels me to carry you even 
if you're only ballast. We have done most of 
the work without you and can continue to do 
so, but I will take care that you do not laugh 
overmuch at the result. Mr. Bingham, a pound 
of bread and a quart of water a day with no 
access to the deck except for the most necessary 
purposes for these ease-loving gentlemen until 
they're tired of their freedom from work. Now, 
go forrard." The last words sharply, almost 
fiercely, uttered. 

"We demands to see the counsel," doggedly 
said the spokesman. 

"Oh, you do," laughed the skipper; "well, 
there isn't one in Port Louis, and if there were 
you shouldn't delay the ship now. You've b^en 
too busy poisoning yourselves with Mauritius rum 
illegally obtained from the bumboatmen, and 
now you are too late to interview the shipping 
master. Get forrard, you worthless rascals! — 
there isn't half a man among the whole gang. 
Mr. Binghpm, see my orders carried out as 
regards these vermin, and carry on with the boys 
and yourselves, working the donkey engine for 
all it's worth." 

Some one has righteously said that you may 



i 

I 



STERN SCHOOLING 



89 

and without oi^Tollr" "' "^' ''^'*^'- '-'^''' 
decency of conduct. S ,7'^' °° ^^^'^-^^^ 
how whole-heartedly the ,ftL .^^"°» ^'^ **«« 
tices sprang to theTre„M tT?""'"'^ ""'^ «PPr-''^- 
before the!loucht|TrL ^tf : 7 V"'"' ^^^'^ 
had got below, the work of ! " '"""^ ^««f«" 
underway. ^''^ °^ "^mooring was well 

orders from the wLl T"'"" '^''''^''''S his 
- happy as ctwt'b^^if -^^^^^^^ ^-"''^ 
they were equal to Vh ^^ ^°^'^ that 

theuK But the happiest ir^', *"'^' '^^f"- 
patient. Dick, whose ant S "° "'""''^ ''^' ^^^ 
fo;^tered. who'se bonVs^J %7 '"f c.^efully 

wiio, taking it all round Z V ^^" ^'^'t' «°d 
enee for the fir" ^'-^1 ? ?' °^ ^'^ ^^P^"" 
«fe that it was I'd L K V *° '"''''^'^ 

f y -al en/o-S had Ve'rin 'S*'^"^^ ^'^ 
of getting drunk, and th«?« ^- *^^ P^'^'^^ss 

always suceeedinr„^,er; ""^^T^^' ^^^ ^be 
-^di™I.u^ndersi°*^e^Slfo;:td^t 



40 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

centleness of demeanour on the part of his attend- 
ants, the captain and the steward, which puzzled 
him. Having no previous standards to gauge it 
by he looked upon it as something too deep for 

Of what was going on above he had no idea, 
nor any care. He asked no questions and 
information was not volunteered by either ot 
his attendants. He was dear to them because 
they had taken so much trouble with him, but 
they knew well that he was quite happy with- 
out knowing anything of their troubles; such 
knowledge would only have bored him. While 
as for his being grateful, it did not occur to them 
that he could be ; they knew too well that the 
class he came from are apt to regard all such 
attentions as theirs as the outcome of an infirmity 
or weakness of mind on the part of the doers, and 
as such to be received with a sort of haughty 
contemptuousness. . ^ t^- i 

So it may be taken for granted that Uick 
was happy and also that all the working por- 
tion of the crew were exuberantly so, because 
everything was going on so well. Their bad 
luck seemed to have blowTi itself out. The 
trade wind blew pleasantly and steadily, and 
the ship made good progress northward under 
all plain sail. The only unhappy ones were 
the idle foremast hands, who on the third day 



STERN SCHOOLING 



41 



out were foolish enough to make a piratlv^l 
attack upon three of the lads who were standing 
watching the moon rise. So keen was the 
watch kept though, that before any harm was 
done the whole force of apprentices and officers 
were on the spot, and it was a very sore and sorry 
set of loafers that sat cursing in their lair that 
night. 

The next day they hoisted the white flag, but 
the captain was indisposed to parley with them. 
He told the messenger that the ship could get 
on very well without them, and that he would 
prefer their remaining out of the way until 
Calcutta was reached, when he hoped that they 
would grace an Indian gaol with their presence 
for a couple of months. By the end of the first 
week all of them had surrendered and apologised 
unconditionally, but their services were only 
accepted on the understanding that they were to 
be employed all day in cleansing work, and that 
nothing in the nature of a seaman's duty should 
be entrusted to them. So henceforth they 
scrubbed and they scraped and they holystoned 
all day long, and at night they slept, while the 
good ship forged steadily northward, until on 
the twenty-eighth day after leaving Port Louis 
she laid to for a pilot off the Sandheads. 



I 



t 



Vi! 



CHAPTER IV 



PAVING SCORES 

They struck the river at a time of great 
activity. Freights had gone up like a rocket, 
and the tugboatmen were intensely high-minded 
in their prices — nothing less than 2,000 rupees 
for a tow up to Calcutta would satisfy them. 
Twenty-five sailing ships lay at the Sandheads, 
but Captain Houghton was full of pride, and 
economy in towage was no part of his scheme just 
then. So he took the Court Hey, the first tug 
that approached, with 2,000 chalked on a board in 
the hands of a Lascar on her paddle box, feeling 
immensely big as he did so, and knowing that all 
the other skippers were regarding the Megalon 
with hungry, jealous eyes. In a shady corner of 
the spacious poop sat Dick, luxuriously occupy- 
ing a long chair. Yes, it was Dick, but so 
changed, so serenely elate, so satisfied at the 
expression of positively devilish hate which glit- 
tered in the eyes of his shipmates forward, that 
he could hardly be recognised as the same Dick 
V, jle and unbroken before the storm. 

4J 



PAYING SCORES 



48 



He wa!» deeply interested in the idea of the 
skipper getting all his shipmates put in gaol. He 
never said a word about it, of course, because 
nobody mentioned it to him, but looked upon 
it as an interesting experiment. And when the 
captain took those wastrels up to the shipping 
office and laid the case before that dread function- 
ary it would be hard to say which wa> the most 
surprised at the decision, the captain, Dick, or the 
hands. For the shipping master considered that 
they had been punished sufficiently (presumably 
by ever going to sea at all), and sentenced them 
to lose a week's pay each (or 13s.) and to be dis- 
charged from the ship, ""^'ey gleefully hooted 
and cursed the captain out of the shipping office 
and then turned their attention to Dick, who was 
standing looking on. 

They took him away with them to celebrate 
the occasiou, and did so by leaving him a 
worse wreck than he was after the bursting 
on board of that sea. When he regained 
consciousness he was in hospital in a pitiable 
condition, all the loving care and attention 
lavished upon him by Captain Houghton and 
the steward of the Megalon entirely wasted 
so far as he was concerned. To him as he 
lay moaning there came a gentle-faced nurse, 
who after making him as comfortable as was 
possible under the circumstances, called the 



44 



THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 



hoase surgeon to .e hi. patient according to 

pausing by the sTde o S:/>1^^^^ -°d 

fully down „l him 4iS- ' •'"^ ''"™- 

-oS' tirersr ?L*r^ ^^ "^« 

have done their drunken L f^ ''"'' '^^"^ *« 
among then., in Se ofv u '"""'^ y«" "P 
who has done "o n Ih r""" "''"'*" "^ 'he man 
approve of your JvS' h!*"" 'Z '^^'y didn't 
and luxury wWe the, w T-'""* '" '^^^'^ort 

the worst ^u,J^tVtrdrti3 T^''''' ^ 
to work. It may interest v!, . . ' ^"^« '"»<'e 
""•e all in gaol. ThetT IV" '"'''''' *''«* they 
of ^upposiV hafli^ca"! ,k'^' "''*"™' ""^^^^^ 
''"•il on board ship wTh T '""''^ P'^^ ^^e 
penalty to follow, JSy eouW d fh ^""'^""Pt^ous 
But they have discovered tS t """" ^'^<>'^' 

-en and tradesmenTet ^ch I"'^""'^ '"''^- 
do our merchant offidrs •' ^^'''" '^^"" '^e 

asking- ^ workmg, and at last succeeded in 

H;;rtb^n'';unt^:,^ """- ^^^^^ -? 
.< Oh' yes," cheerfully chuckleH th j 



PAYING SCORES 



etc., in addition. aI" "o-.h ^ °^ «"»"«- 
to decorate a whot shiil"' '^"'"'^^ ^"""g'' 
should say you are hnl /T"'"'"-'- "^''' I 
"'onthshereasan ntetr ^"'." «°°^ ^''^^^ 
when I turn yo^ outt!^7 ' r"^ ''"• "'^' ""^ 
I shall have the satisf J ,„^ J J ^'"^^'^ '« do. 
labour is all in yZTt ''"''"'"'« *''«' "'y 

because you 'Hne " L "' •'°" ■"•" ^'^^'^orned, 
anybody else " ' "°*' ^^'^ *« >-«"'-''el£ «; 

whSts^S^^Sin^r-'^'^^^"- 

Those bitter words wer^ ^ ''•'."*"••''* ""»d? 

And presently tie doc^r """'^«°'»8 *" him. 

f-t. AssoonlL^^^'LTeS^'^''"* ^'^ 
in its right place and h?'- , 1 ^^^ ^*'^'*^«' ^-ide 

the Phyfical de diet beZ H ""''' "'^^'^ "''^ 
his skill. ^^*"^^ '""^ «s » subject for 

a 'ulttt^;^t?r^^n''-^ >vith 

^^here. but was obvio^M "' "^^''^''^ ^^^^^ 

-eans. although itnrb'utC' "' ''"^^'^ 
s'mplicity. His n-inil u t f ""''onventional 

he appeared to be "I^" " "V^""^'' '^^^ 
tion was largely tinctureH K '.. "'^ ^'' "«"^^'-^- 
To him the doct^ til '' *^ "''-"^^ «f the sea. 

- he had recei S?t frit tl °^'''^' '*«'* 
irom the captain of the 



46 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 



Megaton, with many a reflection of his own upon 
the class of seafarer existing to-day, largely the 
product of steam navigation and lawlessness 
encouraged by shore authority on board ship. 

Mr. Williams listened quietly, smoking like a 
furnace the while, and occasionally between 
whiles interposing a shrewd question. When 
at last Dr. Norie had talked himself out, Mr. 
Williams murmured to himself — 

" I suppose I can see this specimen of modern 
seafaring if I call at the hospital? " 

"At any time you Hke, Williams," eagerly 
replied the young doctor. "Shouldn't have 
thought you would have taken any interest in 
the wastrel, though." 

"My dear fellow, we've been very friendly 
and all that, but how can you have any idea as 
to what I should take an interest in? Tell me. 
I'd like to know." 

Dr. Norie flushed a little as he answered, 
"Well, you see— I— thought, that is to say, I 
fancied that you were just " 

" Loafing, eh ? Got enough to live on with- 
out working, and so drifting comfortably down 
towards the jumping-off place. No, don't 
apologise or hedge. You are quite right to think 
so, but the fact is I have some strange fads, and 
just now I fancy I see my way to a fresh one. 
At any rate, let me see this specimen ; he seems 



PAYING SCORES 47 

about like virgin soil in most respects. I'll be 
along to-morrow about eleven, if that will do." 
^^ "Right ho ! " responded the doctor cheerily ; 
whenever you like to interview his lordship I'U 
be around We're not very busy just now. 
Well, 111 be gettmg along. Salaam do!" And 
away went the good fellow to his home, his work, 
and his hobby. 

Now at that time there was established in the 
city of Calcutta a small unofficial mission from 
the State of Maine. Nobody asked them to 
undertake the work they were doing, nobody 
seemed to care whether they did anything or 
not, yet day by day, amid the manifold 
miseries attendant upon such labours as theirs 
were, dependent upon the most slender sup- 
port, they laboured for the souls of men as 
they saw best. They had but little encourage- 
ment, for the natives who surrounded them 
could not, with all theii astuteness, get any- 
thing material out of them, for the best of all 
reasons, they had nothing to give. And the 
white men of all European nations who drifted 
in and out of the great port never stayed long 
enough for the missionaries to know whether any 
real impressions had been made upon them or 
not. 

But none of these things moved those good 
fellows; their part was to keep pegging away 



Ih' 1 

ii 1 m 



48 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

in what they believed to be the right direction 
and leave results to the Most High. Naturally 
they sought for recipients of their ministrations 
wherever they were to be found, and one of 
the most likely places was the hospital. Hence 
It follows that Dick, lifting pain-dimmed eyes, 
saw a benevolent, bearded face opposite his 
own a face with eyes that twinkled behind 
circular spectacles as if with mirth, but yet had 
a latent sadness in them. As soon as the 
possessor of those eyes saw Dick was sensible, 
he said — 

" Well, Mr. Sailorman, I'm pleased to make 
your acquamtance. My name is George Ward 
and my business is to do you some service if I 
can. Now, what can I do? Can I read to you, 
talk to you, or just sit quietly by your side and 
sympathise with you ? The hardest task you can 
set me is to go away, but I will even do that if 
it will give you any pleasure." 

Dick managed to get out a queer "I don't 
want ye to go away," though why he said so 
he hadn t any idea. Still, that was sufficient 
tor the missionary's purpose. He sat down by 
the cot-side and began to talk— a stream of 
cheery anecdote sparkling with humour and 
obviously just intended to amuse. Suddenly, 
seeing the sister passing, he rose and, bowing 
politely, said— 



PAYING SCORES 

'My time is nearly up, I 



49 
suppose, sister, and 

morrow?™^ ''"''*^'°« ^^''^'^ ^ ^^'"^ *«- 

thI72''"M^'\'f *t' ''^"^^ ^"'•^^«° «bout 
mat, sir. Meanwhile, I reffret tn cp,r fi, • 

you have reached the limit^Sw^d foT Z 

Instantly the missionary turned to Dick, say- 

you better to-morrow. And when I come vou'll 
find I've been thinking of you » ^ 

alit'i*^ ""'^^ ^P''* "° ^'^^ '^^^^^ the good fellow 
ghded away, leaving Dick staring dumbly at 
h.m and wondering mistily why he canr'^He 
hadnt long to wonder, though, for another 
visitor arrived wJfhir, a ■ anotner 

William/ iJt- . ^^^ minutes, John 

Williams looking particularly shabby and un 

looked if n- f ^*. P°^er in expression. He 

on the same morning, neither of whom seeded 
as he would have nut it « *-. i, • *^.^°^ed, 
him." ' *° h'^^e it in for 



!i 



50 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

Nevertheless, he wriggled uneasily under the 
scrutiny of those deep grave eyes until the owner 
said at last — 

" You seem to be pretty comfortable in spite 
of your damages? " 

"Yes, thank ye, sir," hoarsely whispered 
Dick. 

"And I suppose you don't very much care 
what happens to you to-morrow as long a» you 
are comfortable to-day, do you? " 

Dick had no answer ready. Never at all 
acute, his mind was at present almost be- 
numbed. And yet there were stirring within 
him some inexpressible thoughts and feelings, 
one of which was so new that it gave him great 
uneasiness and forced some moisture into his pale 
grey eyes, making them blink more feebly than 
ever up at the inscrutable face above him. So 
he did not reply, and presently Mr. Williams 
said quietly — 

" Well, we shall see. At present I think you 
are a most promising subject for my investment, 
regular virgin soil to work upon. So long, and 
I wish you a speedy recovery." 

" So long, sir," croaked Dick, as he watched 
the departing figure, then entirely exhausted by 
his effort to make out what it all meant, closed 
his eyes and went into a sound sleep. 

His visitor sought out the young house 



i m 



LM(X 



PAYING SCORES 51 

surgeon, and without giving him time to ask 
any questions, remarked casually — 

"Your man is a most promising subject, 
absolutely fresh ground. I don't believe he 
has a single idea in his head except a desire for 
personal comfort. In every other respect he is 
just an animal without the instinct of an animal. 
But if you can only turn him over to me in good 
shape, I'll invest in him cheerfully. He'll give 
me what I need badly, an interest in life. And 
I promise you that whatever the result of the 
experiment may be I'll let you know, and be 
just as grateful to you whether it succeeds or 
fails. Good-bye for the present." 



CHAPTER V 



THE SALVAGE BEGINNING 

Six weeks later, Dick Mort, robust and hearty, 
sat in Mr. Williams' room at the Great Eastern 
Hotel staring at that gentleman, as if in a de- 
sperate effort to understand what he was saying. 
Bit by bit, about as easily as one opens an oyster 
with a piece of tin, Mr. Williams had extracted 
from his subject all that he had to tell of his past 
history. It was very little and very sordid, being 
in this respect, alas, on all fours with an enor- 
mous number of his class. Child of an over- 
worked, ill-used and sweated mother, and a 
hulking, loafing, lazy, conscienceless father, who 
beat her and the children, for whom he should 
have been responsible, whenever the fit took him, 
and cared for nothing except beer, tobacco, food 
and no work ; he went through the usual formula 
— board school, errand boy, loafer, thief, the sea ; 
and since then a nuisance to the unfortunate 
men who were supposed to get work out of him 
which he had engaged to perform but for which 
he was wholly incompetent. 
52 



THE SALVAGE BEGINNING 58 

It would be tedious to relate the conversn- 

tion£ between Mr. Williams and Dick, mostly 

earned on by the former, at this and several 

other mterviews, but the gist of them may be 

summed up in this: that there was more in 

being a man than being a waster ; that if Dick 

believed, in common with most of his tribe, that 

he had never had a chance, he was going to have 

one now; all he had to do was to remember 

that, to buck up, to talk little, do more, and play 

the game. To realise that it was profitable to 

keep your word about doing your work, and to 

be sure that some one was watching carefully, 

ready to help and reward every eflFort at acting 

man-fashion. 

At the close of the present interview Dick 
surprised his mentor by asking a question, one, 
too, which showed that he had been thinking, 
a rare feat. He asked diffidently— 

"Are you religious, sir? " 

Mr. Williams flushed a dull red as he 
replied — 

"Well— no— not particularly. Why? " 
"Only because that there gentleman as has 
been coming to see me at the horspital every 
day, an' bringing me all sorts of nice things, has 
been saying things to me Uke that every day. 
An' I know he's religious, 'cause I've a-seen 'im 
a-prayin' over me when I was pretendin' to be 






f i 



■)Ui. 



I' 



54 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

asleep ; an' besides, I don't know what else he'd 
come reglar to see me for." 

Mr. Williams' heart gave a sudden bound. 
Here was a step in advance indeed. If such a 
dull, brute-like mind could recognise the Divine 
Brotherhood, even under the feeble convention 
of "religious," what might he not expect? He 
knew of the frequent visits of George Ward 
to the man whom he now looked upon as his 
■proUgi, and although he recognised to the full 
the self-sacrificing nature of that good fellow's 
ministrations, he had almost IzM as if his 
preserves were being poached. He need have 
no fear. All that the kindly American Christian 
had done was to prepare the soil of that 
dark mind for some growth of understanding. 
For a realisation, however dim, that along- 
side of the shameful evil of all kinds with 
which alone he had hitherto been acquainted 
there was to be found such goodness as 
would almost penetrate the cruel heart of a 
Redskin. 

Ward had done more than this ; he had even, 
without pressing, succeeded in getting Dick to 
come to the cheery quarters in Radha Bazar 
where the little group of Yankees lived and 
kept open house for any white man who would 
accept their hospitality, which included good 



THE SALVAGE BEGINNING S3 

food and drink without intoxicants, and did 
not include the necessity as a sort of quid pro 
quo of hstening to n mass of rant, of which not 
even the utterer had any idea as to its mean- 
ing. These Yankees never preached, they just 
talked, and kept their audience in good humour ; 
but in an amazing way managed to convey a 
great many pearls of wisdom in those witty 
words which often set their rough audiences in 
a roar. 

The place had a fascination for Dick he 
could not tell why, nor did he understand in 
the least what, if any, religion was being lived 
before him. But he did know that there he 
v^as warm, comfortable, and always welcome 
And dimly there began to dawn within him a 
desire to reciprocate in some way, he did not 
know how. Be sure that this newly-born sense 
did not escape those keen Yankees. They saw 
and when, one day, Mr. Williams called at 
their home and asked for Mr. Ward, he learned 
something that gave him an added interest 
in the task he had set before himself. He 
was assured that Dick had, at any rate, lost 
the taste for the husks in the swine trough, and 
had grown so accustomed to decent living that 
he was now never to be found in the usual 
horrible haunts of the silly sailor in Calcutta 



' * 



I 



56 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

True, he had no money, but then that is never a 
bar to the wastrel seafarer, who seeks for trouble 
as some men seek for riches. 

"And of one thinj? you may feel certain, 
Mr. Wii::ams," said George Ward, at the close 
of a long conversation, "this man is not the 
ordinary type of Rice Christian. He's never 
professed anything at all, while as to promising 
amendment, I don't think he has any idea that 
It is expected of him. But he's certainly got a 
dim idea that life is not properly made up of 
loafing, shirking, lying and drink, and that there 
are some better things to be looked for and found 
if only a man will behave decently." 

" I owe you a lot of thanks, Mr. Ward, and I 
hope to have a chance to pay some of them 
practically one day. Meanwhile, it will interest 
you to know that ' am going to experiment 
with this man in »;,,• hope to find a soul within 
him somewhere. To this end I've got him 
a berth with a pal of mine who commands 
the finest clipper at present lying in Calcutta, 
and who'll give him every opportunity to 
show any manhood there may be latent in 
him. She's the Mooltan; ah! I see you know 
her. Well, Captain Grey tells me he's got a 
fairly good crew, mostly young fellows, at least 
half of whom know their business and are keen 
on it, hoping to rise. He's managed to get a 



THE SALVAGE BEGINNING 57 

spirit of fair play going in his ship and a hatred 
of the blaspheming skulker who, while hating 
work himself, doesn't in the least mind his work 
bemg done for him by his shipmates. So Dick 
Mort will get the best chance, I'm hoping, even 
If you haven't the satisfaction of enrolling him 
as a convert." 

'i-^r^,/"",' *■""'* ^'"'^ ■"«' Mr. Williams," 
replied Ward, with a sunny smile. "And I'm 
sure you'll do me the justice to admit that I 
have not tried to make a nypocrite of this man 
by asking him to profess something for the 
sake of what he was going to get out of it. At 
present he's a poor invertebrate creature, and 
It you succeed in making a man of him by any 
method, I'm sure you'll be doing God and your 
feUows good service. Good-bye; I wish you all 
success. " 

In due time, then, behold Dick Mort, the 
picture of health and strength, neatly clad and 

'f/>! t, ?'"^' ''"'"'^ '° *^e ™°my forecastle 
ot the Mooltan, submitting unconsciously to the 
close examination of his shipmates. They soon 
assessed his value, not very high, but already 
in that mysterious way common to all primitive 
communities the news had gone round that he 
was somehow different from the usual A B 
that he was, so to speak, "the white-headed 
boy, and this was sufficient to arouse a spirit 



■!- f; 



M THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

St^, nothing overt occurred, and in due time the 
Mo^ta„ sailed for Demerarn. with 000 coolies 
in the tween decks and Mr. Williams as a 
passenger. Th.s latter resolution of Mr 
Wilham. ,vns not made until just before sail- 
ing and was entirely unknown to Dick, who 
naa been instructed to write to his benefactor 
and furnished for the purpose with addressed 
enve opes and a writing case containing all 
needful accessories. 

Thus it came about that during the tow 
down the Hooghly there came a draUS 
rnoment when in obedience to a wide wa^e o 
«^e pilot s hand the tug gave a sudden sheer to 
port carrying away the cleat through which 

f ,ir,V"" "" '^' ^''- The hawser made 
a cythe-hke sweep and carried overboard a 
senior apprentice who was standing on the fore- 
ca le watching a tug. He was spun into the 
yellow foam of the river like a top, I the horror 
of all who witnessed the incident ^ve one. S 

r>^riU ".''^^t "''" ^^^' ^^o^' least of all 
Dick Mort, what secret spring of action w^s 

rail mto the dirty eddy where Albert Neville's 
despairmg face appeared. Nor can aSy 



THE SALVAGE BEGINNING 59 

tell how the unutterable confusion of the next 
few moments resolved ' 'f into an anchored 
ship, a quieted stand-1 / 1.,^, tiie two humans 
picked up ; one with both legs broken below the 
knees, and a general repairing of damage before 
starting again. 

But one thing emerged potently— Dick Mort 
was a great fellow. Nobody more surprised 
than he. Had he been able to express himself 
he might have said that dimly at the back of 
his skull was a dynamic idea that now was the 
moment, this the way to show his gratitude; 
and so, forgetting whether he could swim or 
not, he hurled himself or was hurled to the 
rescue of a fellow-man perishing in deep waters. 
The praises which were accorded him were 
bewildering because he could not see why he 
should receive them, any more than nine-tenths 
of our heroes can who do but obey an overmaster- 
ing impulse against which their natural love of 
life or cowardice is powerless. 

The forecastle of the Mooltan was a happy 
place that night. She was anchored at Saugor 
awaiting daylight to pursue her voyage, and all 
hands were free for a much-needed rest, as well 
as a delightful chinwag, assisted by a ration of 
grog, served out at the instance of Mr. Williams, 
who had no scruples of any sort except against 
cruelty and injustice. Song and jest went 



yi 



W THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

S'tr'^i.^"* it?'"" •■"-•* i'»- 

«f .11 And tZ. i ,"P'»™«' ™ the mM, 
y=«ve,^L'„£™f wSXte"^ '"" 

"M vast y more olmmnt 1. kitherto, 

-f"-d hf. .k.^ 5X" ™g '''"' "' ""■ ■■' 

l°=rt-;„^-£5f™'!- 

really cared for il.» "' '"•" ' «<■" 

cuHou. kmd of respect for him. 



THE SALVAGE BEGINNING 61 

which reacted upon him and made him feel 
better somehow. 

Because of all these matters it came about 
that the Mooltan weighed from the Sandheads 
under the pleasantest conditions, fair wind and 
weather, contented crew, clean bill of health 
among the 600 shrinking descendants of an 
ancient civilisation taking the fateful step of 
caste rupture by crossing the Kala Pani, or 
Black Water, to an unknown land, but dumbly 
venturing because of rumours of some of their 
caste fellows returning bloated with wealth and 
exuding stories of pleasant conditions over 
tuere. 

Indeed everything pointed to such a passage 
as the novelist hates, a passage that fortu- 
nately for seafarers is usual, but furnishes 
little material for interest on the part of shore 
readers, who, in truth, can hardly believe in 
uneventful voyages. And the early promise 
was fulfilled until the ship was well across 
the Equator, which was accomplished in the 
rather long time of twenty days owing to the 
wind being light. And then they were be- 
calmed. Five words of utterly uneventful im- 
port generally, but here full of tragedy, reeking 
with horrors. For it seemed, as one leaden day 
succeeded another, that there would be no more 
wind, that the noble ship containing 640 human 



62 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

beings, was condemned to lie upon that glassy 

folds until the end of all things for everybody 
there an effaeement of which the inner 
awfulness would never be known to anybody 
on shore. ■^ 

For the first week matters were well enough. 
*un, skylarkmg, gymnastics of all kinds, much 
to the amazement of the coolies, were indulged 
m by all the white men, although there was at 
tJie back of each mind some indefinable fear 
never even hinted at because of one's ship-' 
mates. And then, with the suddenness of the 
Iightnmg, came the news one morning that six 

K- .,M° "f' ^^^ ^^^° ^"'™'* ^^«d of a disease 
which the doctor admitted he could not under- 
stand. Poor wretches, they seemed benumbed, 
not exactly with fear, but with fatalism, 
and utterly unwilling to do anything they 
were ordered, perhaps unable to realise the 
necessity for exertion in order to save their 
hves. Unhappily, the desire of life was not 
very strong, it has always been weakest where 
the pleasures of living have fallen to almost 
nothing. 

The next week was one never to be for- 
gotten by any who survived it. Kipling makes 
Mulvany speak of the cholera attacking a 
regiment in the train as the judgment of God 



THE SALVAGE BEGINNING 63 

striking down out of a naked sky; but what 
would he say of this appalling, unknown phgue 
appearing on board ship becahned in mid ocSn 

Jl -Ki ? ■ "^^'* 'P°* ^^^^^ ^^«« in the whole 
JeTdM nTr~*'' "'^'^^ '"-' -•^^t^ver they 
Lost erl " '''' !'"'-' •"^^^'^' «™«1 these 
tTr drI,S .'"iT°'''°^^' '^^y ^^°t «bout 
Ifacrity •^"*"' ^"*^ cheerfulness and 

kentTi^n'' ^'?- ^"t^"'^' ^'- Williams, who 
kept a close and careful watch upon him was 
so pleased and interested at what he Teamed 
to h.s fr,end the skipper was the growth of the 
real man m him that he was probably as happy 
yd contented as he had ever' been in his K 
Yet the condition of things showed no improve 
ment: the death roll became steadily Sir 
unt.1 at the middle of the third week ofca m 
2.0 coohes had died, and the skipper began to 

ZlTf "Z™"'* t''"* he would probaWy have 
none left to carry to Demerara, if, if-ah there 
was the unspoken question which was at the 
back of every man's mind, however high his 
standard of education. The same hSli: 

absence of any promise of wind, the sicklv 

s ummedl'T''^" ''^™ '"^^ ^*"'^-"t - «"' 
scummed as it now was with something ;ery 



64 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

pt'i'/Z%?"''^-^'''^ °" « P«"d; these 
persisting day after day, apart altogether from 
the ravages of disease, were quite sufficient to 
breed doubt of the stability of hitherto Swn 

n / \- .'f'PP^'' ^'^'"^ ^^^ been indulging 
snip eve. getting anywhere, "you don't seem 
to see how highly favoured you are You'v" 

isn''7it^''°* *^',V" ^""^^'^ t'^^ ''tipper, "but 
isn t t a marvellous thing, too, that in all thl 

kmd has ever been met with before? " 

temptousTv ""' m "h ' ^"* ^""'"-^ -- 

only vouchsafed to a verv £ ''I, jJ^'^\ ^^e 

aXtrot'thir o^^r t^*^ ?> 

years. More than that itl , °° ^''' ^^''^^ 
I'" -te everythin^^^Ue^X-rwK 



THE SALVAGE BEGINNING 65 

With i. if itroU'ii-ff.""*"" "'"""»<■ 

y»u 2;S^- tT7' "■'"° '■»" "I- lii" «>•« 

3n,.,/.c"£-ch„Lr?:;TXe?it 

o»ly P«.d p„„ge „„ the coofa I llnd ,K™ 

always get a crew like him iZ- I u 
you'd call a smart sa£™ "' b he's i "^"* 
to^do his best and he's always t.lin'g. " ^""^"^ 
Vou don't know how glad I .m f-. u 



;'1 






.«i liir: 
1 1 ■ (i-,iR 



CHAPTER VI 

SALVAGE PHOBLKMS 

The Startled question asked by Williams was 
now bemg echoed by every white man on board. 
It was at a time of the day when all hands are 
awake and about. And consequently the amaz- 
ing spectacle that now presented itself was wit- 
nessed by all hands From the sullen stagn nt 
sea. now leaden m hue because of the obscuring 
ot the sun, there arose a steam of deathly vanour 
a stench of sulphur and putrid things m'ingfed- 
ah, heavens, how different from the strong, pure 
odour of ozone generally diffused by the ocean 
under normal conditions. 

Darker, and more dismal, and more mephitic 
grew the atmosphere, until little Billie Ballan- 
tyne, the wit of the forecastle, said: "Weel 
lads, the devil's pinched the sun frae us the 
noo. He micht ha' left us that an' hiked awa' 
the remains o' they coolies." 
Men in those straits laugh very readily, and 

about ^^,th new additions until the sudden 
appearance of a veritable hill of water ^ 

66 ' 



SALVAGE PROBLEMS 67 

massive knoll apparently level with the cross- 
trees, sent all hands flying to get a hold some- 
meet'ift^"^''' the good vessel rise to 
^„t! '*'/f*""«t«'y 't eame low or all would 
have ended then and there, but it was of 
enormous dimensions and not alone. Three 
tunes she rose and fell, and on each occasion a 
vast flood mounted her forecastle and roared 

much wreckage m its track. 

on'^its" f %^™«°*hened and they still remained 

on .ts surface, very nearly water-logged, it is 

L'fittif "*' *'^ '^^'^ " ''"""^'''^ S'as fa 
gear trailed over the side or lay in tanjrled 
masses involved with some still stLdlg ^e 
of wreckage, twisted steel or splintered wlT 
And vvonder of wonders, all hands were still 
fetfTr r '"' ""'°^"'^'^- Recovering hm' 

"Now then. boys, hurry and get the gear 
clear. Some of you below and see about those 
eoolies. some of you man the pumps." 

eou^Teirfe:ii;:\Lt^ '™' ''^^^' -<^^^ 

awful die^irovt:^^^^^^^^^^ 

those who rushed below met a spectade that 

was truly appalling even to them.' The IhoL 



M I a; 



t- 



1 lJ 



68 THE SALVAGE OF A SAttOR 

great area of the 'tween decks which was 
allotted to the coolies was a miry foaming flood 
in which were tumbled about dark lumps, 
unrecognisable, but undoubtedly the bodies of 
the hapless men and women who had survived 
the devastating sickness. 

For a few moments the brave fellows were 
daunted, because though they could see only a 
very little way, they knew that what they saw 
around them was the same all over the 'tween 
decks. And it was all so quiet, too, except for 
the monotonous swash of the water as the ship 
rolled heavily. It well might be, for there did 
not appear to be any sign of life when the 
sailors began their terrible task by seizing the 
limp bodies as they washed past and bearing 
them to the main hatch. Gradually the fetid 
flood settled down through the few small scupper- 
holes cut for that purpose in the 'tween decks, 
and some lamps brought down by two apprentices 
aided in the discovery of such a mass of horror 
as could only be paralleled in the hold of a slave 
ship. 

Detailed description is impossible and im- 
practicable. We are all content to take horrors 
for granted, and the ma who would describe 
a battlefield after an enggenient would find 
no publisher. Imaginatioji does the gruesome 
work, however, and so. %vhen we understand 



SALVAGE PROBLEMS 



!£•" i^ »»I»'.l>ta from the Me rf ,S 
_ 8. WHICH was entirely to Wiffiams' 



i ■■ 'I 



I 



70 



THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 



U': 



delight, for it exactly fulfilled his desire, and 
therefore he not only did not interfere, but he 
gave no sign to anybody on board that he was 
at all interested. 

Day by day the gallant ship sped west- 
ward toward her destination. She had been 
originaUy destined to call at the Cape, but 
Captain Grey decided that there was now no 
necessity, his passengers being so reduced, and 
conseqiiently Cape Town was given a wide 
berth, Table Mountain being only visible for a 
tew moments through a smothei of haze. Nor 
were there any complaints. The Mooltan had 
a hne crew, who regarded their position as a 
privilege and their ship as their special care I 
have known such ships and love their memory 
as much as I hate the conditions obtaininjr in 
sailing ships to-day. 

There is never anything stirring to write about 

the northern passage from the Cape to the 

West Indies because it is perennial summer. 

1 he pampered saloon passenger in the Union 

Castle Line may suggest that it is "verj' 

slow," but in my days we loved it because, 

although we always worked hard all day setting 

up and rattling do^vn and getting the ship in 

order generally for next voyage, the wind was 

so steady, the weather so consistently fair that 

any man who had not a wheel or look-out in his 



SALVAGE PROBLEMS 



71 

for thelew^inutesT f^ "" "'«''* »=^^«Pt 
not always cXd "'"'*''' ""'^ '""^*«'- ^"^^ 

by «ener:tlo„rof u'^'r" rb "T™*-^'^ 
enthusiasm by her crew T ^^'\''^ "''*'' 
can have anv ZL t ^^T P^°P'« "s^ore 

heartedr/thrsi'-^hS'^S? ^'^^■ 
who were Drofir.iPnf ,. """^'s'^ff. and those 

with aw: TT n^^h s ?r i^r 

question of how httle they hou. a" ^T^^ 
much they should „.f f •: '^''' ^'^ ^^"^ 

supremely well, knowiL t th. m^ *'*'°' 

themselves and soTwrff thoroughly well 

ana so able to appreciate excellence 



i 






73 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

of workmanship in their men. The technique 
or the seaman s profession may not be touched 
upon here, so I must be content to say that a 
good seaman in my day was a skilled ii.echanic 
of the very highest class, and if at sea all his 
life was ever learning his profession, because the 
wily old sea had ever some new scheme to 
surprise him. 

Therefore when the Mooltan anchored oflF 
JJenierara Lightship everybody on board had 
the happiness which comes from a perfect con- 
tentment with themselves. Except, perhaps, 
the feeble remnant of coolies, and they made 
no sign ; they probably neither knew nor cared 
for anything except that they were alive and 
weU fed. Mr. Williams was especially happy 
because of the success of his experiment. He 
had anticipated failure, but almost unknown to 
himself had hoped against it, and here in a 
surprised way he had watched the dead soul of 
a mail being revivified. Dick had no notion 
that he was being watched, it is certain. He 
may have wondered, but I do not think he did 
why his environment was so pleasant, but the 
main factor in his alteration was something 
within, something which impelled him right- 
wards, but for which he, less than any other 
^rson in the world, could not account, even 
It he had thought of so doing. 



V 



t-.i 



SALVAGE PROBLEMS 



78 

shJrf%'*"^ ''^ *''*' ^^'^"''" •" Demerara was 
snort, for a cargo of sugar was ready for her 
and ,t was wdl. because the fai Je of the 
consignment oi ndentured labour was received 
with immense anger by the authorities. They 
would doubtless have dealt very hardly and 
uj,u.tl.v by the captain but for tl pre^Le of 
Mr AV .Ihams. who was able first to impress then. 
yrfh lus enorn|ous wealth, and second to affirm 
tint ,n no detail was the captain wanting for th^ 
benefit oP Ins h„man freight. 

Tho iv T/ received the usual liberty and took 
«.e a..i nd-antage of it. aU exc'ept dS. 
wno, to the surprise of everybody, quietlv 
armounced that he didn't want to J,' George"^ 
town had seen If before and dirir. „ like It 
would rather stay on board anr? .a!d> / .f? 'fa 
And when the libe,ty men returned out^' 
s.ck, sore, and sor,y. as wdi .. f.). ,,"1 
agamst everybody, Dick car ,o m '..'r • 7^ 
s^re of abuse and learned for tn. fi,>t ri.u m 

5eJnt,f '* ^'' ^""'^ ''^«^^S upward to a 
decent hfe was resented by his class, even the 
ultra good ones around him now. A little drink 
to Wsen their tongues and their hatr d o J 
decent man came out. He was, so they said a 
md spy, a pampered "white mouse"; but I 
cannot go mto the abuse, I can only note his 
utter bewilderment because of his perfe^rnno 






b\ 



74 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

cence and his definite recognition of the language 
used to him as being his native expression to 
shout a while ago. 

No harm was done. The vapourings of 
drunken men, even though they revealed the 
truth, were relegated to their fitting place, and 
the Mooltan started homeward, deeply laden, 
with all her crew full of energy and apparently 
desirous of doing something to obliterate the 
memory of their recent outburst. 

Nothing happened until they reached the 
"roaring forties." Within the tropics all 
hands gave all their minds to getting the ship 
ready for going into dock, painting, varnishing, 
tarring down, etc., domestic details very tame 
in descrip^'n and not lending themselves to 
literature i/ccause devoid of hair-raising inci- 
dents. But as soon as they were out of the 
fine weather region, the sky began to gather 
blackness, and before many hoiu-s had passed 
it was evident that they were in for a heavy 
North Atlantic gale such as a well-found, well- 
manned ship can meet easily, but a poorly- 
found, badly-handled vessel may as easily find 
fatal. 

So, knowing their strength, all hands were 
perfectly easy in their minds, and this feeling was 
admirably expressed by Willy Farrant, one of 
the younger apprentices, on his second voyage, 



SALVAGE PROBLEMS 



75 



as the Mooltan lunged massively through the sea 
under two lower topsails and a reefed foresail, 
rushing past many less fortunate vessels wallow- 
ing hove-to. 

"I reckon this here gale is just a God-send. 
The work's all done, the paint an' varnish and 
tar is all used up, but if we had a lot of fine 
weather, ' Shinny ' (the second mate) would 
sure have us messing about and dabbing at it. 
Now he can't, an' I'd like to see it blow like this 
for a week or even a bit harder. I'm fed up with 
spring cleaning." 

And this was a great gale which strewed the 
Atlantic with wreckage and blackened under- 
writers' faces for many a day. So great is the 
satisfying effect upon the mind of a good ship 
and a good crew. But Mr. Williams was now 
beginning to get anxious about Dick. That 
worthy was irreproachable in his behaviour 
and had been proof against temptation in 
Demerara, but once in London town it was 
difficult to forecast what the effect upon him 
would be. More, the system upon which 
Williams was working forbade any coddling or 
sheltering. He felt that any good behaviour 
on those terms would be worthless because of 
its Uabihty to utter failure when expected to 
stand alone, and he would have none of it for that 
reason. But he was anxious, and in accordance 



I. 



r ^: ^ 



.ir» 



76 



, 



m 



THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 



with his character became more silent and pre- 
occupied than usual. 

He was greatly relieved therefore at an 
unexpected happening which showed him more 
plamly than anything else could do how deep- 
seated was the alteration in Dick's character. 
The gale had lasted for four days, and the 
Mooltan was well past the Western Islands, 
havmg seen several fine vessels hove to and 
several steamships in much difficulty, but 
as tar as she herself was concerned having 
never been in any difficulty at all. Therefore 
there was considerable enthusiasm among all 
haii<l» irhen, about 500 miles W.S.W. of SciUv 
a kr»: jnearwhip was sighted with signals of 
utmo*^ distress flying. It was soon diS.vered 
tnat her engines had broken down beyond 
power of repair, her rudder was gone so that 
she could not be handled, and that the gale hod 
played havoc with such sails as she could have 

o?h.r H n'?^^"* the splendid workmanship 
of her hull had saved her until now, but she 
was reduced to a helpless hulk full of helpless 
people to the number of over 800, crew and 
passengers smking, and of aU her goodly 
array of boats only two little ones remSd 
the launch of which would only have meant 
their immediate destruction. 
With immense caution the Mooltan was 



, .5f*:tti»} 



SALVAGE PROBLEMS 77 

rounded to on the weather side of the disabled 
steamer, showing at once by her extraordinary 
antics how fierce was the gale and sea that she 
had been using so bUthelv. But none of her 
crew had any time to think of her tremendous 
lurches, especially as their confidence in her 
was in that stage that any failure on her part 
would have been received with the prdroundest 
astonishment as being quite outside probubiUty; 
they were entirely occupied in getting out 
their two hfeboats, not in the least, dear reader, 
like the lifeboats you know down at your 
favourite seaside resort, vessels in which a 
man misht cruise the stormiest ocean in the 
globe and be scathless, but just ordinary- 
large boats with a row of airtight zinc 
cylinders beneath the gunwale on either side 
to lend them buoyancy, the same being en- 
closed m wooden covers to serve as additional 
seats. 

This great work was efficientlv performed 
because everybody's heart was in it ; those who 
directed understood their work, and those who 
obeyed did so with all their might. Of these 
Dick was a prominent example, the most promi- 
nent perhaps. While he did not possess the 
slightest initiative, he was untiring, indefatigable 
in his efforts to do what was asked of him, and 
moreover, what he did «as done with intelligence 



78 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

and -are, so that he was a delight to those who 
were responsible. 

Now, if I were able I would like to describe 
that great day's work, the passage of the bo«ts 
between the two vessels through those gigantic 
seas where a fake movement meant the cap- 
sizmg of a Iwat with fifty people in her, the 
amazing seamanship required in the handling 
of that huge sailing ship in such weather so as 
to keep her near the foundering steamship, and 
the utter bovme helplessness of the rescued 
Mies making the rescuers' work trebly hard. 
But It is quite impossible to tell such a story 
adequately, we can imly trust to the reader 
brmgmg his imagination to bear upon the 
scene so that he may hear the hungrj- roar ot 
the storm, the crashing of the boats and the 
compkmmg of the ill-used fabrics. And even 
then he will not be able to realise the feelings 
of the sufferers. 

I believe that the rescuers were so lifted up 
by their own great purpose that one feeling 
alone possessed them, a sense of victorious 
overcoming the immense odds in obedience to 
the dictates (,f the higher nature. Thank God 
that this is so often the case. When neither 
wounds Dor weariness nor fear nor callousness 
on the part of the rescued matter one jot, and 
only the sublime joy of doing good for its own 



SALVAGE PROBLEMS 79 

sake is felt, compensating fully for all minor 
matters. 

By nightfall the last of the rescued ones 
•ere in safety on board the Mooltan, and such 
iTieagre preparations as could be made for 
them had b««n put in teand. Then suddenly 
everything d»e ceased as a cry warned them 
that the Eagtern City was sinking. Tlie whole 
great crwd thronged the bulwarks of the 
Mooltan and watfi^ with aw« the ocean's 
quiet taki^ of its toH. Just a gentle rising 
i«d fallint!!, a little deepitr iiwlination than 
usual and the great vessd slid downwards 
and was hidden for ever ff<^ mortal view 
amidst ti»e myrad other my^rtems of the ocean 
bed. 



CHAPTER VII 

THE BIKTH OF A SOUL 

Such a tremendous event as the rescue of 800 
souls from imminent death would anywhere else 
have demanded almost imperatively a breathmg 
space afterward in view of its significance, its 
effect upon all concerned. But here, as usual «t 
sea, every nerve must need be strained in order 
that the good work so nobly done might not be 
all frustrated by an even greater calamity. For 
the gale still blew heavily, showed indeed no 
si^s of abatement, and in getting the ship 
before the wmd again several great seas were 
shipi^d which filled the crowded decks and 
added to the miseries of the saved who, even 
within every corner of the ship's accommodation, 
could not find suflScient shelter. 

But at last she was well away, and Captain 
Grey, confident in the largely augmented force 
of his crew and the power of his ship, dared to 
pile on her canvas and drive her as she had 
never been driven before. For fourteen hours 
she tore through the massive seas like a mad- 
dened thing, and then, to the relief of all but the 
80 



THE BIRTH OF A SOUL 81 

most daring, the gale began to abate. And as 
It did so, more and more sail was piled on her 
until on the evening of the second day from the 
rescue, the forecastle was crowded with eager 
watchers for the Lizard Lights, the news having 
gone around the ship that the captain intended 
to run into Falmouth and land his involuntary 
passengers. 

Finer and finer grew the weather, the wind 

moderating rapidly, until at midnight the twin 

lights, like a loving, welcoming pair of eyes, 

shone steadfastly before them, and the hearts 

of all those saved ones swelled with gratitude 

for that they had been spared to see them 

shining once more. Only an hour afterward 

a pilot was picked up, and wben the beautiful 

day dawned they sailed into the splendid harbour 

of Falmouth, as proud a crew as ever maA»ed a 

ship, although every one of them knew full well 

that the deed they had done was one that is never 

rewarded with money— the saving of Hfe has no 

value commercially compared with the saving of 

property. 

Nor was there any opportunity given to the 
rescued ones to express their gratitude. They 
were, as they put it, bundled ashore as soon as 
ever it was possible, and the Mooltan having 
discharged her errand of mercy was again got 
under way for her final port of discharge, 



82 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

Loadun, and there she arrived in splendid shape 
two days after, mooring in the South West India 
Dock. 

Now in " dese times I scrieve of " a most 
disgraceful state of affairs existed, such as can 
hardly be ioMgined now, at all the docks. 
When a ship came in she was at once boarded 
ky "runners," the vilest of the population, 
whose occupation it was to get hold of the 
saiJors as customers or rather victims for 
K>arding houses, tailors, and brothel-keepers. 
These apaches stuck at nothing, personal 
violence least of all, to gain their ends, and I 
have seen some ugly fights on board of a home- 
ward-bounder over a sailor who halted between 
the choice of one out of two rival boarding 
masters. Consequently the last hour after the 
Mooltan's arrival was a particularly boisterous 
one, and most of the crew were literally dragged 
ashore, hardly comprehending what they were 
doing because they had had a nip or two out of 
the bottles with which each runner was provided. 

Now, it was no part of Williams' scheme that 
Dick should be subjected to such a trial as this, 
for really it would have been most unfair, the 
poor fellow having no alternative, so to speak. 
Consequently before the worst of the hubbub 
following the Mooltan's arrival had commenced 
the mate, acting on Williams' instructions, called 



THE BIRTH OF A SOUL 88 

Dick aft and told him if he liked he could stay 
by her " as a night watchman and have the 
cook's berth. Dick consented at once with an 
appearance of relief which showed that he was 
dismayed by the prospect of being handed over 
to the tender mercies of the rabid gang forward, 
and at once proceeded to get his belongings aft 
out of their clutches. 

Entirely satisfied, Mr. Williams bade him 
good-bye, having previously commended him 
to the care of the chief mate and Captain Grey, 
laymg particular stress upon the fact that he 
did not want Dick coddled or in any way made 
a favourite except on his own merits, but 
where he sought help to protect himself from 
such a disaster as was imminent to-day, their 
giving it to him would be substantially acknow- 
ledged. With this the eccentric man disap- 
peared, leaving two b< wildcred men behind him 
with a strange sense of responsibility for the well- 
being of a man whci i they looked upon as /• -,.,!- 
class worker, but with certainly no speciyi tx.ni<< 
about him marking him out for exceptiona' 
treatment. 

And in truth at the present time Dick v is 
not an interesting subject at all. He had 
become that bugbear of all romantic writers, 
that foe to sensationalism, a quiet, hard-working 
respectful and respectable man. A man, in a 



III 



I 

II 






84 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

word, whose only object was to do his duty and 
earn his salary, who had turned against drink and 
vice and outrageous behaviour, and by so doing 
had earned the contempt of all those, fortunately 
very few, ardent spirits who profess to live a free, 
artistic and joyous life. 

Therefore we must not even here dwell upon 
the calm and even tenor of Dick's life ns night 
watchman of the Mooltan in dock, because 
there were no incidents in it that would read 
well in a newspaper. The man had no imagina- 
tion and no ambition, apparently, except to do 
his duty as well as he could and keep out of any 
trouble. Any attempt at conversation with 
him would have been found tedious to mortifica- 
tion; he simply couldn't talk and didn't know 
why he had lost his taste for loafing, liquid and 
lust. Or why he was so keen upon doing his 
best, whether it was working or watching or 
keeping himself clean, for I must not omit 
to notice that one very prominent feature in 
the new Dick was that he was almost finically 
smart in his appearance and quite careful about 
his clothes. 

But the greatest event of his life, at least so 
he thinks, was when, the outward Calcutta 
cargo being half in, a gentle lad of fifteen, 
Willie White, the only son of a widowed mother, 
joined the ship as an apprentice. He was a 



tl 



THE BIRTH OP A SOUL 85 

society of his nTo£a;;rer%"°' 1° 1^* 

nthtV" H?: '''' T "'-Tft:7L r^j 
:iriz'''%j™^^\''°'^'^'^«'^^^^^^^^^ 

nis mother The upshot of it all was that 
he joined the Mooltan when she had half her 
outward cargo in, and the mate and captafn 
had far too many other things to think aC 
than to rouble their heads in the least S 
a quiet lonely lad. who in spite of his firm 
resolution could not help feeling very smlll „n^ 
significant and uncomfltable 'on "Cd tt iSg 



•MCtOCOPY (fSOUITION TEST CHART 

(ANSI and ISO TEST CHART No. J) 




^ APPLIED IM/^GE Inc 

SF 1653 Eost Moin Strest 

Sr^: Rochester, New York U6D9 USA 

'J^ (716) *82 - 0300 - Phone 

^g (716) 2aB - 5369 - Fax 



86 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 



M'i 



If I 



Thus these two incongruous people were 
brought together by sheer force of circum- 
stances, and their hearts immediately grappled. 
For Dick Mort had silently progressed along a 
mysterious path leading him to one clear idea 
of his place on earth, a stolid determination to 
do his best in whatever situation he might be 
placed, and that without any guiding light of 
principle or gratitude or religion. He had never 
been talkative, now he was almost dumb, but 
he had a wistful, seal-like expression in his 
eyes which made you feel that the inner man 
of him was longing for companionship while 
unable to make any efiFort to find such a 
necessity. 

Now here it was. Willie was flung upon 
him, as it were, out of the void, and at once he 
knew that this was what he had been blindly 
aching for, a human being to protect and to be 
a companion. One who would not be above 
him either, but whom he could teach and help, 
although he was not clearly conscious of these 
things. 

On the first night of Willie's arrival the strange 
pair were seated in the galley before a good fire 
and under the dim light of a parafiSn lamp, 
Willie had very humbly asked permission to 
come and sit there, and Dick, feeUng queerly as 
if he should have been the suppliant, had replied 



THE BIRTH OF A SOUL 87 

rather creakingly. as if his talking machinery 
were rusty, that he'd be glad if Willie 3 
consider himself free of the galley all the time she 
was m port. 

wmi:°sa?d-l' "* '''' ""' '""^ ^"^°«y -t" 

"My mother would be very glad if she knew 
I was comfortable. She was so afraid I would 
have to rough it and that it would be very hard 
on me at first." ^ 

repTJd-'''' ^*°'*' ''°*' "**^'' " P""'^' ^'''^ 
"Yes, I suppose she would think so. And 
she d be right, too. If you'd come a few days 
later when the other apprentices was here they'd 
have made you sit up. They don't mean any- 
thing, though. It's only their fun " 

while Wilhe, rather fearfuUy, tried to think what 
the other apprentices' ideas of fun might be, 
gaufced by his school experience, when Dick 
broke out again with — 

" But you come and ask me anything you want 
to know just whenever you think of it and I'U 
try and put you up to it. Y' see, I ain't got 
anybody to talk to that I care about talking to 
as^I cTn'""""^ I ^JiouW like to tell you as much 

There was such absolute sincerity in the 



I 



^^i 



88 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

voice, such pleading in the eyes of the man, 
that Willie thawed right out at once and 
opened out the treasures of his virgin heart. 
He prattled away at highest speed, two-thirds 
of what he said passing clean over Dick's head, 
who had never heard or dreamed of anything 
like it before, and when they separated for the 
night, Willie felt happier than he had done 
since leaving home, while Dick was all in a 
glow. A new spirit was moving within him, 
and without realising it, he would gladly have 
offered his life to protect that bright, gentle- 
faced boy from any danger that threatened 
him. 

Thenceforward until the time when the older 
apprentices began to return was the happiest 
period of Dick's life. For hitherto he had 
really known no happiness, only a certain 
animal satisfaction at the absence of pain and 
the presence of certain pleasant sensations. 
Now he was beginning to realise higher joys 
of thinking and of caring for another without 
any idea of return, the greatest pleasure that 
earth has to bestow. Evening after evening 
Willie and he sat in the galley talking until 
nearly midnight. For he had found his long 
disused tongue, and though Willie was inex- 
haustible in the matter of questions Dick was 
actually voluble in answering. Also there were 






THE BIRTH OF A SOUL ,9 

>^>'.iM himself „t the knowSbl ' fc, J 
wuld not doubt tliAf .. . , '*^«- Vet he 

they were a bit .ubdued .1 p.rtto, S ,hj 

^^i' isrv-^ ■"" »"«** «S„e 

«eit to make Wilhe more ffrateful than i,^ 

learned so m^et' f^^^ J,^'"""; ,«t!f 
and men only haze the greenhor^" Ont fe^ 



90 



THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 



tli 



realise that a fellow knows the common business 
their desire to make him miserable gets a set- 
back, and there is an uneasy feeling at the back 
of their minds that possibly he may know more 
than they do, which may be awkward for them 
later on. 

Signing-on day arHved, and with it Mr. 
Williams, who had k.^jt an eye upon the ship 
all along, but had not shown himself to Dick, 
who he knew was doing very well. But now 
the philanthropist rather anxiously interviewed 
Captain Grey and Mr. Smart, the new mate, 
inquiring whether they did not think it pos- 
sible that Dick might become th: boatswain. 
The captain and mate looked at each other 
doubtfully. Both remembered boatswains who 
were great sailor figures, men to whom every 
detail of a ship's needs were as familiar as 
eating, men who could command as easily 
as they could speak, and whose ability to do 
themselves what they ordered others to do was 
of so high a quality as to leave no loophole for 
criticism. 

Now Dick's seamanship was decent, his 
energy was great, his ideas of discipline perfect, 
but his power of command was an entirely 
unknown quantity. Still, times were altered, 
and boatswains of the highest type were rarer 
than hens' teeth now, and— yes, that was it, 



THE BIRTH OF A SOUL 91 

Mr. Williams would make it worth their while 
-oh, yes, it could be managed. So Williams 
went mto a state-room while Dick was sent for 
As soon as he appeared Captain Grey was 
struck with the change in his appearance. He 
looked smarter, more manly in every way. 
earned himself indeed as if aware that he counted 
tor somebody. 

" Morning Dick ! » aid the captnin. " Mr. 

m.'Jdv^y?"'''""'" "''"'"'»■"»■ 

" K^ li'fe to try it anyway, sir. An' if you'll 
take It that I'm doing my best always, sir. I 
think I can make out. There's lots o' things 

srere:ywher:'' °' """'' '"* ' '""'^^ ''^'^''^ 

"Crf} r^'l*''^"' '^'^"n'" replied the skipper. 

Greens Home at eleven o'clock. You'd 

better get your dunnage into the bo'sun's berth 

at once. You can have the boys to help you if 

to Dick that the interview was over. Dick 
nnmediately marched out of the saloon and Mr 

ZiuT' ^'"^'•?V°» fr"'" his hiding place, fairly 
bubbled over with delight. » ** ' '> 

"Never saw such a change in a man in my 
hfe. Never made a better investment. By 
heaven, it's like watching the birth of a soul ! 
But Im bewildered. I can't imagine how or 



92 



THE SALVAGE OP A SAILOR 



content with the results ri' " ^"^^ *° ^ 
bits of paper for ?e.'' p J^roh " '^""^'^ "^ 
captain and mate, "and? ^''"^' *" *1^« 
me. I never paid «' mnn ''°" '=''° *='edit 

more pleasurftharthTs Tf "T ?"^ ««^^ ™« 
that pleasure whe" vou J ^^^-^ '"" """"^^ 
knowledge of its sound h'*"? 7'*^ *he same 
the happLt man alive »"''' ^ '^^ *'^'°'^ ^'^ ''e 






CHAPTER VIII 

WASTERS AGAIN 

pinTXe*t!,:*'r'"°^'' °*^'»' «* '^- ^hip- 
ing. " All the cToo of th' Afn ? ^f '"^^ '»°™- 
he was answered bv - ^^"''"""f^'Caleutter." 
ever that fine IJ^i" Tf 7°«ke a .r,ob 'as 

'eally did not seemto be f . V''''^' '^^^''^ 
and the captainrheartsJ'^'' T°°^ them, 

them and thought of hf "' ^^ '""^'y^^ 
him. But their kpL ^'^'P^^* ''^fore 

he must have T crew and' "''' "" "^^t. 
invariably deceitful. Well .f,^^"™""^" ^^'« 
go., their advance notes ind'^ """" ^'^'PP^''' 
on board at 8 a.m on sl'^r '""^^ *° ^ 
morning. ''^ Saturday, the next 



•an' 
we've 



Not muchT c p'n '' ; f , '*• 

' it'd be bette^Vl. Jf "^^ ^«P«ed 



Dick, 



got eFghtZd btr ^™^^ *™^' bm 
past Beachyl^hS ^^^^J - ^ou ,o,. ,„^^ 



93 



all right. 



sir] " 



m 



■vi 



94 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

Captain Grey didn't look very sanguine, but 
he said no more, neither must we until we 
begin the voyage with that duck-gaited, duff- 
headed crowd on the cluttered-up decks of 
the Mooltan us she slouched seaward behind 
the Robert Bruce. To say that they were use- 
less was to put it mildly. None of the books 
about seafaring have ever deigned to notice, 
probably because of the author's unacquaintance 
with the subject, this particular aspe.t of the 
case of a ship leaving port. Her crew in 
addition to their incompetency as seamen are 
mulishly drunk. Could they be put away some- 
where until sober, the officers and apprentces. 
and, perchance, the one or two sober chaps 
could manage; but no, they are not drunk 
enough for that, and so they exasperate beyond 
endurance and go maundering about the decks, 
• getting in the way of the sadly over-tired 
workers. And it doesn't matter whether they 
are truculent or amiable, the result is the same, 
a shameful endurance of the willing and anxious 
inen upon whom the bulk of the work falls, and 
that, too, without the slightest corresponding 
advantage. 

But through all the misery on board the 
Mooltan (for it is misery to have work that 
must be done with too few hands to do it) the 
faithful tug tows steadily on. She has no 



WASTERS AGAIN 95 

incompetents on l>08rd. there is no room fo. 
them. And on the quarter-deck of the biff 
saihng sh,p the stolid pi'ot walks with t*e 
anxious skipper, the one thinking that « few 
hour, w.„ end hi. connection with the t"oubIe 
that he sees oom.ng but cannot hinder, and 
the other seeing that trouble cming nearer 
and fretting because the deficiency of the crew 
Tht'l ;7 "u ^V° ""''' '*• Not lack of seamanT 

Z'ui: v^:' "-'''' '-'^''^^-^^'^^-^^^ 

Throughout all that ugly twenty-four hours 

all I'andi except the fourteen A.B.'s worked 

ke heroes with hardly a minute's rest, very 

until they had to be sent below, but achinc in 

on unt>l the cold storny dawn saw that great 
Rrey ship under two lower topsails, rfeS 
foresaU and fore topmast staysail fore-read!b1 

cXftatgTr'^ --'' '- '-« P-- - 

In that grim time the education of Dick 
Mort proceeded apace, although the mate felt 

Admitted that h did three ordinary men's 

t^. '/'/'"'"'^ *" ^' extraordinarily S 
tj^vards^^tnose wretched men who wallowedTn 
Wt and unfitness in the forecastle. This was 



06 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

entirely distasteful to the enerfretic young officer, 
who said severely — 

"Boss, you'll never get those wasters going 
if you don't go for 'em. And I will back you 
up for all we're worth, and so will the skipper, 
I'm sure. What's the matter with ye? You 
ain't afraid of 'em, are ye? " 

"No, sir," replied Dick quietly. "I ain't 
afraid of anything that I know of— don't see 
any call to be ; but I don't think it's any use 
wasting time trying to make men work that 
can't. But if it's your orders, sir, I'll do my 
best. As to goin' for 'em, though, that's beyond 
my duty and I won't do it for anybody. I 
know it's a weakness on my part and I'm 
sure some fellows are better for a clump aside 
the head, but I can't do it, nor never shall be 
able, so if you please, sir, we'll take that as 
settled. Anyihing else, now, I'll do my best 
at." 

Discontentedly the mate joined the second 
and eased his mind by a growl all round. 
Then Captain Grey came along and joined in, 
and for a few minutes they eased their minds 
generally upon the topic which meant so much 
to them. Then the captain grumbled — 

" That fellow's one of the very best ever, but 
I do wish he was a bit of a bucko. However, 
he isn't, and from what you tell me, he'll never 



WASTERS AGAIN 



he. And. any! ow. I'd much rather have him 
hstb" Wd^H " '"'° *'"'* doesn't W 
get What rest you can. You, Mr. Seeger (to 

clever hov nf nT I ■ '"^ >ook-out and a 

thTng. ^" ^"'^"^"^ "°fi* '- «ny earthly 

At dawn, after such a ni t as von ^. 
reader, would sav was fnll ► • ^ .' '^^"' 

':^1 ^Z""-^^^^ --SIS ^^, 

filthy hole, see! " " ""'^ °"^ *''«* 

Dick assented heartily, and immediately gave 



fi 



98 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

the requisite orders. In ten minutes he stood 
within the foul-smeUing forecastle guiding the 
nozzle of the hose with its strong stream of bright 
sea water impartially over the gloomy interior, 
while the mate stood at the door grimly chuckling 
as he saw the frowsy heaps on the filthy deck 
moving and groping their way towards the 
entrance, gasping inarticulately. 

"Pump up, boys, pump up! " he shouted. 
" Do 'em no end of good. " But when presently 
the whole of that wretched crew, dripping and 
swaying, were outside and visible even his stern 
soul relented, and he roared " 'Vast pumping ! " 
Surely, whatever their offences against manhood, 
their punishment was fully adequate, and he 
would be less than human who could not spare 
them some pity. 

Then there broke in the stem voice of the 
skipper who, appraised of the success of his 
chief officer's device, had come forward just in 
time to take in the full significance of the 
picture. 

"Now then," he said, "you poor, miserable 
wretches, get some hot coffee and grub into 
yourselves and come out to the work that's 
waiting for you. Better men have been doing 
it while you have been swining it in there, but 
you've had long enough, so I warn ye. Cook ! 
Serve them breakfast, and then " (turning to 



I 



WASTERS AGAIN 99 

st:Sg "S ;f • «-r ' - that they do 

IS, if anything can improve them." 

Di**h'r The'z;s r^T' "«"• «■«■ 

who only tr to °be .' T "' ^''^ ''*'^^' '«d^' 

wppfo * I . unteJIable misery of that 

week s fore-reaching down rh5.nT.0i I 



' 'I 

^4 



100 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 



ft! 



I 



bitterly, "like a mouthful torn out of the 
devil's jaws," Dick managed to save him from 
the diabolical suffering which would have been 
entailed upon him had he been compelled to 
come on deck and wallow in wet, struggle 
blindly in the throes of nausea to do something 
he knew not what, and fall about through sheer 
weakness and want of nourishment. Two or 
three times his limp body was dragged out 
into this inferno; as many times Dick found 
him, lifted him in his strong arms and carried 
him back to his unsavoury bunk, where, at 
least, he could lie quietly. And the result of 
all this unobtrusive care was a love in the lad's 
heart for his friend that became an absorbing 
passion, having rich results later. 

Because of its very tediousness and unrelieved 
misery we must pass over in silence that desper- 
ate time in Channel which formed so frequent 
a preUminary to the voyages of sailing ships 
thirty or forty years ago. To the great relief of 
her officers she won through it without accident 
or being run down, though the latter casualty 
was several times imminent, her wretched drag- 
ging to and fro across the fairway of the Channel 
inviting it. At last the Avind shifted to the 
north-east and gave her a slant, at which gleam 
of hope even the wastrels were stirred into some- 
thing like energy. 



WASTERS AGAIN 



101 

"If I only get a fair wind," snarl*.^ Po^. • 

Grey m confidence to hi* ^ ^*°"'ed Captain 

"I'll put her thr^u^h it WhalV"' 'r^°«' 

why it's^constrS^'„;L?/^ ^"^'^ ^ *^-' 

was assumS/a Lrd b- "^^^^ the sky 

wisps of featL^ cloud C;T"'""°'=^' '^' 
that hopeless iSkZt ™°« /«°tastically over 
peace to a Tailor The !l ^'^^l^^ything but 
for his barometer rld\ 'P'' f^ "^^ ^'•""We. 
he was one of the oW t'f ',"°1 "^"rtunately 
man. who take tLl »•'"''' *'^*'"«'^ « yo"4 
»osp;i. T^at nitht T"*^ T '^' «'"- f- 
northward andTy nl^Sl "^ '^ *^« 
^ooZten was dofng ^o^Ln ."?* ^'^ *^^ 
three royals set ami ! ''°°*'' ^'t^ all 

that she'could ca 1 'IZf'^ -" -* «l«o 
rose against her swT"on fhf ""''"'' °^ ^P^^^ 
and soared as Wgh as Ve V™^"'* "^ '^' ""^ 
but even so. she was w.^^"' *°P'''' ^^'^J^' 
than she had beenTr? ^ T'" ^°™f«rtable 
was much warmer '°°''' "°'^' besides, it 

o pyramid of canvas overhead 



102 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 



t •■ i 



ill : 



bowing towards the leaden-looking waves at 
each roll was appalling, and he snuggled up 
to his chum the bo'sun for comfort, asking 
artlessly — 

"Is it what you call a heavy gale, Dick? " 
"Bless yer heart, no, Willie. This is what 
we call a fine breeze. Of course, you want to 
know yer ship, and y' ought to know yer crew. 
Well, that can't be helped. Of course, if it 
wasn't a fair wind it'd be different. We'd be 
making heavy weather of it then." 

At that moment the ship gave a wipe to 
windward, and caught a wave in mid-rush oh 
the bluff of the bow; it rose Uke a liquid hill 
and burst upon her, and in a moment she was 
obliterated, a foaming mass of ocean covered 
her. Oh, beautiful faith! Although Willie 
foimd himself holden within a grasp which 
nearly cracked his ribs, with the furious foam 
almost submerging him where he hung, by the 
topsail sheets on the fife rail of the mainmast, 
he never doubted the truth of the assiu-ance he 
had just received from Dick. Assuredly he saw 
nothing in Dick's face to make him doubt, for 
it may be taken as an axiom that this redeemed 
wastrel had passed the stage where man fears for 
either his body or his soul, and was now living 
perfectly in the present with even less prevision 
than a fish. 



I:, 



I-i ■ 



WASTERS AGAIN 105 

heaw*ti'*°"'!J"?' '* ^"^ " »"•-• if not a 

«.TatThenWf '"'" ''?"^''^'"«- So much 
so that the chief concern in the ship now was 

the steering None of the crew were fit to t 

there, would not have been had they been 

^Z'ZZ '° *'^'' ^"'^^^'^'^ eondSL'n,':;; 
so the great business was given up to the senior 
apprentices, splendid young fellows of fine 
physique, and each of^hem reinforced bv a 
s?» '' *". 'f""'^ *" «'- '^ -her' heav; 
vice. No doubt she was well steered, but she 
was being sorely tried, and every thinking 
man knew exactly what woidd haZl7 
dunng one of her gripings to windwarrany: 

ar^'aw^rt-;'*' ?-^ ^^^"°« «--h;;[d 

carry away. Still, nothing but a high delight 

7arfTM T"" '^' '^'^^' «"d Officers' faces 
for the Mooltan was making the record of h^r 
ex^tence fifteen and a ha^ knotTand eve? 
rope and spar was being tested to its Umh 

fnTfl tf ^^'■^'^^^"e 'Joo'-- They had only an 
indefinable sense of fear, for most of them 
had never been in a sailing ship before. S 
an of them had a curious feeling of finaHt* 
about her lee lurches when she went doi^"^ 

heT}' ^T^ r"' '^' "«*«' foamed oT^; 
her lee cat-head and they held their breath 



106 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 



Mf 



i 



in the expectation that she would never rise 
again. 

They did not know that had a single shred 
started then it must have meant wholesale 
destruction. But the skipper and his mates 
did, and knowing it they hung on, dependent 
upon the mercy of that growling, merciless 
north-easter. Truth to tell, they were all 
prepared to take the risks, and there wasn't a 
drop ul unclean blood in any of them. At one 
time it was certain that only a trifle extra 
pressure must have meant all three masts gone 
or the Mooltan bottom up, but still they never 
blenched. They were all of the right breed. 

And so courage and daring were again 
justified of their children. For fifteen hours 
the gale persisted, hardly varying in direction 
a point, and then it began to take off, grudg- 
ingly, but hauling its fine weather round by the 
south. I can swear that all hands were grateful 
without reservation, and when it was all over and 
the sorely-tried ship with salt-bleached rigging 
was wallowing along southward in the perfection 
of fine weather, Willie boarded his friend again 
with — 

" It really was a gale, now wasn't it, Dick, in 
spite of us not taking in any sail? " 

"Yes, my dear, it was," replied Dick 
solemnly, "but you needn't think about it. 



WASTERS AGAIN 



107 

U^rZ^^r '' '"^ *»>«* --'" have more 
ki Jr'* ^ ' """ «'^' t« Calcutta. Our 
ThT ^°^'»'"'' »nd he isn't going to let 
a bad cew hinder him. But it won'f L 
for some of m w """^ « won t be easy 

Come along and ,et?rrv *'*'*''' "''*'''"«• 
the work v^.'ll K * J ^"^ '•''"« "'ore of 

first dut"^^ to CJ: 1r r '^°*'^- ^ -•°'''' 

it's taugy\r„, Td h txt't t T* "^"* 

yo've'got to sho" me". '"'''' ''' ^^^^-er 



CHAPTER IX 



ill 



nUNNINO THE EASTING DOWN 

The conclusion of that stern lesson left the ship 
well within reach of the north-east trades and 
practically fine weather. And thenceforward for 
a matter of three weeks there is nothing for 
nie to chronicle — as I have often had to remark, 
nine-tenths of the voyages that are made hav«; 
scarcely any more stirring incidents to recoid 
than may h ■ witnessed on a trip from Walham 
Green to Liverpool Street by omnibus. It is 
this that makes a sea life bearable, this that 
differentiates modern seafaring from the old, for 
whereas the old wind-jammer lay around and 
perforce waited for trouble, the modern steamer 
plugs along and gets to her destination 
generally. Of course, she gets caught occa- 
sionally and the sea balances its accoimts care- 
fully, but compared with the suffering and loss 
of life of foHy years ago, life at sea to-day 
is practically as insurable as a sheltered life 
ashore. 

But though the Mooltan herself made no 
1 08 



RUNNING THE EASTING DOWN 109 

history as she glided along in leisurely fashion 
towards the southern verge of fine "weathe ° 

thl 5^lf"°. r ^^c ^'"^ ""^ «^°^'"8 "-"Pidly to 
«Lh. t''^'"',f « •"«"■ It was doubtful 
uhether he would ever .n„ke what he used to 
kno^^ as a prinie seaman, because he had passed 
h.s^ early plastic manhood in shirking and1« 

rot rr "''"'''^ ]''"* ^'''" '"" "'anipulating 
rope and canvas and wire which marked the 

iZn a? ?"""• • '"'"^^ ^'''"^^ » -«« C 
earn anywhen .t .s true, but he c«n never get 

the same fimsh to his work; never in the ejes 
unahlT!,"' *¥t«'b« anything but a bungler 
unablt to do a job that shall be a joy to the eve 

strels "' "™''' *" ''^''^ •" "'^ h°- o? 

r.if^t ^t "^•^' ^^^^ known-he never showed 
wastdid'n ? «\r-b"t -tainly where S 
was ,t did not matter, since there were none 
better than he What did matter was thaTSe 
was never too tired to lead his crew, never lost 
h.s temper, and never said two words when 
one was sufficient. These were great assets 

ITV"! ''''"''''^ ""-"^ that^e had to 
deal w.th. though in their weasel-cunning they 

oTh '"TA?'* '^^^•'"'** '^"^^y^ -the? do a 
job himself than wait while they bungled it 

developed a wholesome dread of the eLget ' 

Mr. Smart, and the second - » one or 



III! ' 



110 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

the other of whom were always on the watch 
to see that the soft-hearted bo'sun, whom 
they had grown to love, was not imposed 
upon. 

By the lads he was adored, and during fine 
weather it was deligl tful to see how in the 
second dog-watch they would gather round 
him on the main hatch and hang upon his 
v>ords, learning many things from him and 
incidentally teaching him how much he really 
did know. Aud on all these occasions Willie, 
who was developing finely, always sat closest 
to him, exercising unconsciously quite an air 
of proprietorship, a shadowy claim which 
was admitted with amused tolerance by the 
rest. 

T'^nfortunately no progress was made by the 
foremast hands. Happily it is rarely that one 
finds a whole crowd of fourteen tarred exactly 
with the same brush, but these were. They 
would learn nothing but tricks of shirking, 
they would, had they dared, have been 
truculently troublesome, and they spent all 
their waking leisure in nagging one another in 
filthiest language, interspersed with ghastliest 
threats, but meaning nothing because of the 
utter cowardice of the utterers. No one knew 
what Dick thought of them, foi he ne/er said, 
but the skipper and his three mates often thanked 



RUNNING THE EASTING DOWN in 

God audibly that they were bound to Calcutta 
and that the stress of the westerlies need only 
be borne for so long as would get her round 
the Cape, then they could bear up into fine 
wcatncr. 

„„S'^",i*^,f''*"V*'/°'"* "P'^^'y- »°d «>on the 
noble Moo/tan had squared away to the east- 
ward m 88° S. before the first westerly bre^. 
Aloft, she was as fit for the coming struggle 
as she could be made, almost entirely by the 
efforts of the bo'sun and the boys, and L Sll 
hands had enjoyed quite a spell of fine weather 
and fairb. decent food, it looked as if, given a 

£ w n / °^'"«^"«t'' westerly gales, all would 
be well for the outward passage, anyhow. 

f„.t fJT^ ^'^^'^ '''^^ "P' the sheets and 
Ucks settled down into their grip of yrrd and 
mast, earring and clew took on thcT straining 
nips and the decks were cleared up as usual 
for the great business of running the easting 
down. Now, the southern ocean is capricious in 
most of Its ways, as we expect from all extra- 
tropical waters, but its reputation for evil- 
doing is fairly well earned. The only thing 
that It respects is a well-found, well-handled 
ship which has a decent turn of speed. Of 
course. I now speak of a ship dependent upon 
the wmd for her motive force, for so inde- 
pendent have steamships become that only 



|S;l5 f 



112 THE SALVAGE OF \ SAILOR 

recently I was told by the captain of a 7,000- 
ton steamship, just home from New Zealand, 
that she had broached to in a heavy gale while 
he was asleep in his chart-room and resumed 
her course without his being aware that any- 
thing out of the ordinary had happened. The 
same thing recurring to the finest sailing ship 
V .ile runnmg under similar conditions would 
havo been an appalling calamity, most probably 
meaning the disappearance of ship and crew for 
ever. 

There is also a fairly well-founded belief that 
the farther south you go the worse weather you 
get, wherefore the weaker ships usually run 
their easting down in a fairly low latitude, 
although the advantage of a deep dip south on 
the long stretch from mid-Atlantic to New 
Zealand, say, is to be reckoned in hundreds of 
miles. But on the much shorter run to St. 
Paul's, where the Calcutta bound ships haul 
to the northward, a high southern latitude is 
not of so much advantage, and so it was 
in no sense cowardice that impelled Captain 
Grey to decide that 42° S. was high enough for 
him. 

Unfortunately in this instance the southern 
ocean exhibited savage capriciousness, for its 
behaviour in that mild parallel was atrocious — 
far worse, indeed, as was ascertained subse- 



RUNNING THE EASTING DOWN lis 

quently, than was shown ten degrees farther 
south The wild west wind leaped from its 
la r before they passed the meridian of Cough 
Island, and although it found them ready for its 
immense attack, it nevertheless behaved in an 
altogether savage manner from the outset. 
Lashed and beaten by the sleet-laden blast, the 
Moo/tan fled eastward like a maddened thorough- 
bred with a ruthless rider who continually plies 
whip and spur unsatisfied with the utmost efforts 
or his steed. 

.kT^L*''^..''!"''^ *'^'*'' ^^'^ ^l^o cou'd suggest 
that the httle group of stern-browed officers 
gathered on the Moo/tan's poop were in any 
way reckless or unfit for their high charge? 
Truly they knew, none better, the immense 
risks they ran m endeavouring to do their duty 
to their owners, for any sudden call they might 
make upon the crew who were shivering with 
apprehension forward would be utterly futile 
smce the poor creatures had neither the strength 
nor p uck nor skill to obey usefully. Oh, yes 
they knew, and so did the petty officers and 
boys, and every one of them agreed in the high 
resolve to make the Mooltan do her best with 
the great power that had been vouchsafed to 

So onward into the darkness she flew her 
spars and rope and canvas tested to their 



I; li 



114 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

extreme limits, and in the squalls there were 
heartfiUing moments when every sense was 
alert for the crack — of doom, as it would 
probably be. Watch after watch dragged by, 
her decks one welter of foam continually, while 
the strain upon the officers would have been 
unbearable but for the splendid fashion com- 
mon to all seafarers of laying down all the 
anxiety of responsibility with the watch. And 
yet one man could not do that — the skipper — 
whose load at such times none can lift from 
him. It is a fine breed of man that can and 
does bear this load unknown to men ashore, a 
load whereof the penalty of unfitness is usually 
a great destruction of life, not only his own — 
that is taken for granted— but of those who must 
depend upon him. 

Again Willie found himself creeping close to 
his friend Dick for consolation and consulta- 
tion, but now with knowledge that forbade 
any false comfort. They forgathered in a 
corner of the bo'sun's room, sodden with wet, 
yet protected by weather boards from the 
washing in of the incessant floods on deck, 
and Willie, looking Dick squarely in the face, 
said — 
" Well, Dick, is this a gale? " 
"Ah, boy," replied Dick. "You know too 
much now to be put off Uke when we got out 



RUNNING THE EASTING DOWN 115 

of Channel, and I got to say that it's the 
heaviest gale I've ever run before. In fact, it's 
come to this now-that we can't do nothing but 

^^L- ^'^ '^* '' *° ^"S'"*^"! that if the 

captain was to try and heave her to now she'd 
smash up m ten minutes. But you see he 

forrard are no help. They don't know, and 
Thevr. T' ^^'^ *° ""'^^ "'• shorten sail, 
if f • ^"^ ^'"' °"^ *'''°»' and if they 

was twice as many they don't know, they 
dont care, and "-here his voice sank to 
WT ""^'''P^'-"t'»^y don't want to 

There was a painful pause, during which the 
devihsh howl of the gale and the incessant 
smash smash of the sea over the deck >";* 
the only sounds to be heard-H>ther sounds, the 

jected to unfair strains were to be felt if 
you can understand n , but they did not 
strike upon the ear. Then Dick Lid, as ' 
the^^ea or memory had suddenly occu;red to 

Dol'tj.Vfj,*'''"'' ***"* """'' ^ ^''' in the same 
pot with them poor fellows! Why ain't T 
now? What's happened to me? "He stared 
■nto vacancy as if he had never before realised 
how great was the stride he had made anl 



116 THE SAI.VAGE OF A SAILOR 

Willie, looking at him in round-eyed wonder, 
said — 

" Dick, you never could have been like them. 
Why, they're no good. Why, I'm better than 
any one of them, you've said so yourself. And 
you ? V/hy, we all think you're the finest fellow 

in the ship. You " 

" Stop ! Willie, stop ! I don't want to hear 
such things. I don't know anything about 
them, nor I don't want. I only know that 
something's come to me, came in Calcutta about 
a year ago, and made me feel as if all my life 
from then I must dig out and try to make up 
for the life I wasted up till then. But I ain't 
got no call to be proud of it, and I can't be if I 
wanted to." 

"Say, Dick," queried Willie, snuggling closer 
to him, "ain't you afraid, just a little bit, 
you know, of the ship breaking up and all of 
us being drowned in this awful sea? I am, 
though I don't want to be, and I do want to 
know whether you are or not; down deep, I 
mean." 

Dick took the speaker's chin in his hand and 
looked into his eyes for some seconds before he 
answered slowly and solemnly — 

"Willie, my dear laddie, if I could comfort 
ye by saying I was afraid, I think I should. 
But I know I couldn't. No, I ain't afraid. 



RUNNING THE EASTING DOWN nr 

Some people are proud of not beinc afraid T 
at't"; S f ^?r'''°^ '^ be Zd of ' I 

tha't's been rttl^-etalS X Sd « 

-K-dt^---iS^ 

Sdy like ri r" *''"'•*''* ^' ''' «"* ^°^- 

about it as Dirt ^v. ""derstood as much 

ning to feeM^at'l^t T °°'^ ^"^* ^^«'"- 

that seeks in It rF ^^^^' °* *»>« ««"! 

iovs W. -P ^f "'^ ''^ °t'^e'-^ its highest 

hniine?HHrr'^ ^''^°*' J^^^^-ver, only 



n 



m 



118 THE SALVAGL OF A SAILOR 

until it stood solid above the shear poles, then 
lolloped inboard and filled her fore and aft with 
the hissing flood. 

Another day came — it would hardly be fair 
to say it broke or it dawned, since it was just 
a lightening of the heavy gloom of night into a 
dull greyness — enabling the seafarers to note 
the ragged masses of leaden cloud breaking on 
the mast-heads, and occasionally to catch a 
glimpse of the much-enduring upper sails whose 
every thread bore witness to the tremendous 
strain they were enduring. A short lull gave 
Mr. Smart an opportunity of questioning Dick 
uix)n a few points connected with the con- 
dition of things aloft, and the advisabiUty of 
doing some small preventive work, matters which 
only Dick or one of the elder apprentices could 
be trusted with, since none of the crew forward 
knew enough or had energy enough to do such 
things. 

While they thus conferred, standing upon 
the break of the poop, a furious sleet squall 
overtook them. Involuntarily they raised their 
eyes, and as they did so they saw the main 
top-gallant mast bow forward at a horrible 
angle and its burden of sail disappear in the 
smother like a puff of smoke. They could 
neither turn nor speak, such was the fury of 
the squall, but remained glaring forward full 



RUNNING THE EASTING DOWN 119 

of wonder what would ^o nevf e .u 

The mate, with a hnrrlor) >'a^ u ^ 
ho'siin »» * ui. . . """^"^^ do what you can 
DO sun, fought h s wav aft f« fi,« • ' 

and shouted below " sL'fM ^ companion 
canvas «r f vr^' ^ ^ '^^^ *<> shed her 

another vessel wSn ..^f™^ 'r^'^* ^'S'"* «* 

sails anrS-efaif Lr?'""°* '"''^*^' ''^'- *«?- 
the sea warLa^b/: /Lte^T^^ "'^^i' 
of starving tigeVs. 'and^ot £"peS%^,S 
the remains of an ensiirn rT«; ' i"^*"^ """ered 

^«.e«c .to- o,dSi;L°xt,r "■"""' 

5,f£..:cr.S,?£'.3 

andfhn^ u ' ^^"^^^'^ those boiling seas 
and^those who now looked on helplessly !t S 







120 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

fellows holding out appealing hands for the 
assistance they knew was not possible, were fully 
aware that what they saw was likely to be a 
perfect foreshadowing of their own lot presently. 
And as they thus reasoned she disappeared, 
another squall coming up and blotting her out 
of sight foi ever. 

During those few close-packed seconds the 
condition of the Mooltan was forgotten by her 
own people, but the coming of the blotting-out 
squall recalled them to a deep sense of their 
own danger, for, bereft of the driving power of 
the lost sails ;he over-burdened ship began to 
steer wildly. Also the following seas began to 
overtake her, and one or two already flung 
quite a mass of water over the taffrail. The 
captain, sidling to the mate, roared in his 
ear — 

"I think the fore top-gallant mast must 
be gone, too. She would never have slacked 
up this much otherwise." The mate nodded 
comprehensively, but before he could get for- 
ward to see he met Dick returning as if he 
had been diving and learned that i^ was even 
as they had feared, and that now their only 
hope was in the winds taking off or shifting. 
Continuance in its present quarter at its present 
strength must mean that before another day 
could dawn the end of all things must come 



] 



RUNNING THE EASTING DO^VN 121 

IZ *''wi" -T '"'P'^'^iWe that she could live 
&ha : "*^'*- ^'^'^ ^''^ "•''^t buoyant lif;. 
thnf P . ^^^' P"*^"*^*^ ^-"'d never brave 
act II"/ ''" -ecessfully for twelve hours ,n 

«encie^a?thre;''* '""'' '^ ^^ ^^^ — 
In the forecastle there was only a dull sort 

smoke, no work being possible owing to the 

rjssr'r /''''• ^* p-meated^;: Z 

Ire hke "^ J'ved making it clean indeed, but 
Xt ™^ tide-swept cave than a place 

hou" "Tir T* ^^^"' '""^'^ necessary rS 
wT' i ' ''"^^'^^e'-, mattered to them 

was rV i' ''"l^ ^'^'"^ t''"* '^on-erned hem 
was that they should be left alone and feT 

tleir hn "^"' *" '^' '^''P' that was none of 

hy Tolr'oT^T' ?.'^ ^"^^ -dLnl?"tarted 
try and^^s: e fC^l^^'^t^ ^" ^i f '/"'^ 

deep m foam, his inscrutable face and eve. 
t-ned upon that group of utterl/a^iS 

ship^C^ wf ' """"^^ ™ ^"' "»d fy »nd heave 
snip to. Hurry up now, or you won't get a 



hi 



M- Pi 



1 1-',' 



I 



:; 



122 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

chance to loaf by this time to-morrow. I don't 
think ye will anyhow, but that ain't certain. 
Anyhow, come on now." 

"Yes," said the mate, jerking the bo'sun 
violently aside, " if ye ain't out in two minutes 
I'll be after ye and belt the heads off ye. Why, 
ye're worse than any coolies I ever sailed with. 
And I suppose you swagger as British sailors 
when you're ashore." 

Just then there was a tremendous crash, an 
enormous mass of water burst upon the speaker, 
hurling him and the bo'sun in upon the gaping 
group of men who sat about irresolute, and for 
the space of a minute it seemed as if all of them 
would be drowned in that triangular space. 
For the forecastle was full up to the beams 
with water, then the ship heeled slowly over, 
over, over; until by superhuman efforts the 
half-drowned men were able to crawl out to 
windward and balance themselves at the door 
where they could see the destruction that had 
been wrought. 

The great disaster of the sea was upon them. 
Their ship had broached to and now lay upon 
her beam ends, that is upon her side, with her 
lee lower yard-arms in the water and every 
shred of sail blown away, the sport and prey of 
the unsatisfied sea. No, for at that supreme 
moment, when, humanly speaking, nothing 



RW.NING THE EASTING DOWN ,a, 

o. board l,r„"h"" ™» '!;?;;:">■ """■» 

parently in a flf nf „ • ^ "^ '^^"n' ap- 

reason of the worfMl "^"■^"""'^ ''hip, that by 

so handled t Z^^Z^ulu' ^^ '^"'^ •^- 
to destruction But l i .. "* ^°>' '""'"ent 
is thus lenient. ""* °"*^° *•>«» the sea 



tp> 



CHAPTER X 

THE END OP A PASSAGE 

Although, as I have said, the Mooltan was 
spared once more, her present condition would 
have appeared to any one unacquainted with sea- 
manship as hopeless as possible. For she had 
no stitch of canvas available, she had a tremen- 
dous list— that is, she lay over on one side at an 
alarming angle— and three important n/.sts were 
gone, as well as a lot of minor gear. Altogether 
she was a very fair example of a wreck, and so 
I imagine her owner would have thought her 
could he have seen her then. But her captain 
and officers, who knew her prospects an 
hour before, were almost jubilant, for they 
well understood how much hope there was 
now, with the rapidly falling wind and sea. 
And the mate ground his teeth as he said 
bitterly — 

"I'll get some work out of them scallywags 
now. They haven't earned their keep since 
they've been here, but if I can manage it I'll 
124 



THE END OF A PASSAGE 125 

make em do so from here to Cnleutta. if I have 
to work double tides meself. Bo'sun ! " 

him^*""' ^"'" '^^''''^'^ ^^"'' '*'"'«»''»» t«w"rds 
"Get those fellows forward to work clearinir 
away the wreck, and drive 'em-d'ye hear?_ 
drive em. Spare these good lads of ours, we 
want the.r work presently, so every bit you can 
get out of those lazy dock-wallopers, get it It's 
rough on you, I know, boss, but I know, too, 
that you don't n.ind that. Only I don't want 
you to do so much pully-hauly yourself. Whv 
Ive watched those fellows again and again 

tlt'A^?*r 'T" '•''''"'"' '"•"' ^^^ minute you 
take hold they let go. They don't want showin' 
any, they want a pb where the work's put out 
and the grub and pay's good. Spare yourself 
f^lfdue" *'* ""'"ething out of them, it's 

Dick smiled sadly, for clearer and clearer every 
day he saw h.mself as he was, and he made all 
sorts of excuses for those who had not had his 
opportumty for learning better. But he could 
do nothmg to aid them. He knew full well SS 
Mr. Smart spoke the truth : they wanted no 

work on to each other as on to the officers o. 
apprenfees Like the sportsman whose ddg 
are so feehngly described in certain popS 



1, !|| 



126 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

prints, they would rather rob the pubUe, but 
they had not the least objection to robbing 
one another, if they could. 

However, for the next month they had, what 
they described in their limited vocabulary in 
such terms as are not to be printed except in 
a translation : a very bad time. The weather 
became fair and remained so, while the ship, 
abandoning the usual route, hauled up some 
hundreds of miles east of St. Paul's and made 
her way somewhat slowly towards her port. 
All the boys were in the seventh heaven of 
delight. For they had the chance of their 
lives putting into practice the many feats of 
sailorising they had learned, knotting and 
spUcing and seizing and serving, while the men, 
the sailors, who should have done the scientific 
work, were doing the menial labouring part 
of it. 

They emitted an occasional growl, occasion- 
ally they tried to spoil a job, but the officers 
watched them closely and did not allow the 
slightest intimidation of the good lads who 
were proving so splendid. If only all the officers 
and captains could or would have done like- 
wise! In the result, by the time the Mooltan 
was half-way up the Bay of Bengal she was in 
good trim again aloft. Her bulwarks were 
stiU full of gaps where the mighty seas had 



THE END OF A PASSAGE 127 

almost rent her in twain I,„f 
great stock of tores H °'""«^ *° her 

and her jun ,! offi t rf^r'^*'^""^'/^^^^^^ 
learned many ^.^ -l ."PP'^"*"'^'' had 
In fact, mai of thenV^^ T'' '^'^-'' 
passage as the'^very blToS. v"'^ ^^ ^^^^^ 
with the easy fadhty of tl 5 T n ' [""'^^^^^g 

satisfaction with theLelt /'"'°'* ^''"P^^t^ 
crew forward were En' ' ? '''° *'^" ^"^^^^ 
here and theTewe f toTV'T" ^ ""'^ = 
looked down unon Tl . ^"'^ '"^^ ^ho 
they were better th iT- ""'^ ^^'^° ^^^J* that 
had'not:! tw" UteS ^o^^' .^'^"^ 
proportionately delighted 5olf n"'\?°^ ^^'«^ 
to encourage it h^ A-a ^ ^^ '" his power 

fellows he '«^ differentiating between the 

some iltest VtheT r^ 7^ ""' «^«-« 
trick at the wheel '''""'^ "" °'=^«^i«°al 

hap;ythip"::ie'tv'"fl-'" ^""^^ ^ ^-'3^ 
but full of that 3' *??'°^ "'eather-beaten 

seamen know td 1 4"af; "T'^T *'^^* 

couple of miles off w.^^ « °** ''*'' ^^^^*^ « 

on. Her officers smoked the 



I' 



^'11 



128 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

pipe of complete satisfaction on the poop, her 
captain sweated in his cabin as he wrote his 
letter to his owners, describing what had hap- 
pened, and made up his estimate of damage. 
The boys clustered around the door of their 
half deck, discussed the passage just over with 
all the nonchalance of men who knew, and com- 
mented upon the lack of manliness among 
the crew with a wealth of lurid detail that 
would have considerably surprised their staid 
and gentle parents at home, could they have 
heard. 

Indeed, all was peace, replete with the sense 
of labour well spent such as can only come to 
people like these. And it was crowned by the 
simultaneous appearance, from two opposite 
directions, of the tugboat Warren Hastings, 
and that autocrat of the Hooghly, the Bengal 
pilot. Full of delight, the officers shouted 
their orders, the crew moved to the task of 
getting under weigh with what celerity they 
were able, and in an hour the Mooltan was 
speeding up the mighty Indian river which, 
for treachery, hidden dangers and immensity 
of traffic combined, knows no compeer in the 
world. 

Little thought the Mooltan's company of 
these things. The tug-boat kept the tow rope 
taut as a steel bar, and the white-clad pilot 



THE END OF A PASSAGE 129 

satisfaction the abiWv oMh Tf'' "*'*'''« ^''^^ 

Douglas, the ^en:lfa;ye„fe'T^^^ 
potentate so far unbent ,!t , t.^^^*^' *''« 

objurgation of the tra.h 1 ^^^^^^^*^l°^ and 
---;he.as.Sa:^^.SrS 

voL^ wS'll: "S''" ^ *'-^"^'-t-ested 

"you',, be"ab,e o geCur'S' f'"- ''^"*^'' 
men in port --.w Jll , ^ ""^ P"™^ sea- 
out of her ; Sr r l""'"'^ *^'^ ^'-""^ 
present ship; .,, 'n^^L ^1 ^ T'"'"- '^'^^ 
upholding the fiffhts of ^^ ^'^ °°*'*''' °* 
the brutal shipitraU'^^TrtoT"* 
your case up to the Inlf iJ V ^ P™^^ 

«.em it,he;d^;.?^j - °* '» f r'<l of 



I ill 



m 

V-' 



180 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

whose quicksands seem alive with diabolical 
X, *f '^u"* .''''P' ■* presented to them one 

with aU his mmd bent upon his great task the 
powerful tug. as it strained at the long Sser 
he surveyed mentally the uneven bed of the ^eat 
mer of which every pilot worthy of the „?me 

his thoughts rang the musical cry of the 
lead man as he sang in Hindustani the slLhtlv 
varyrn^ depths over which they wi:t:^5S^ 

Suddenly he fell forward on his face with » 

on 11'? 't""' ^^^'^^'^ ^•-' and : rrL 
on board who was erect at the time and not 




IP- ISO. 



THE END OF A PASSAGE is» 

^tktS:LZ '"''' ^''^^'y •>-« by. waitin. 

But it was nearly darlf 7 ,. ^ 
were dazed with sleen L • ""°^ °^ *''*^'" 

the suddenness with wfklreV" "T"'^ *" 
its men at all sort, nf ,'"'*' '='»"' "PO" 

■<«> it came to pass that^T'"'^*™^^' «°«J 
of the MooltanZ 5 ^'^«« the last sign 
ken beneath the riir ^J!!^''^'''^ ^'^^ human 
twenty-nine 00™^'^^ 'T°*''° ''"^ "^ ^^e 

five of the A B W • °"™^''- ^^ these 

itt-L^sT??-.^:;:! 
s?et^-----ort:-:-;^s 

wafa'lt'^deflT^'^-. ?'^' -11, It 
that assemWed 'n ^r rr?'^'"*^'^ "«'« "owd 
deck ^sTliZ^%Z"''''\"'''^'-^^' little 
cutta. Thev h^d n i'^'^^ ^"""^'^ Cal- 

appalling Ssterthi^ch h'adlurst ''""V'^^ 
out of the unknnwn . "P°° tl^em 

shrank insUivdrfU" the 7', ^'^^^-Z" 
who looked very diflwrf • ! ^^PJ^'" P'^"*' 
he did when LTll tf "] '""^^^^ ^™" ^^at 
boarded tS hif aJ the S 'i""?"" ""' """^ 
evince any acU^e l^twa'^Lim' T^ 
— rs of the foremit ha^^d Tade "^o' 



*i ! 



184 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

sign at all, but just cowered together and 
smoked as they had done on board their old 
ship in bad weather ; nothing seemed to matter 
to them. 

But a touch of the same imperviousness to 
the fiercest blows of fate made Dick a veritable 
tower of strength to the five lads who— with 
Willie, as usual, nearmost — crowded round that 
worthy man. He did not seem in the least 
worried or upset by the tremendous occurrence, 
but talked with the lads, trying to answer their 
many questions as if he had been an uncon- 
cerned spectator of the last event. Occasionally 
the lads stole a iuttive glance at him to try to 
detect whether it was a pose or not. There 
was absolutely no sign of his being anything 
but just his real self— and Willie, who for his 
age was wonderfully acute and thoughtful, was 
proportionately elated or depressed by any change 
of fortune— because Dick had sized this world 
up and satisfied himself that it had nothing to 
give him that he could or would value in the 
least. 

Of course, the lad could not know Dick"s past 
history ; indeed, except for the question he had 
put to the bo'sun one night about being afraid, 
all his opinion of him had been based upon his 
behaviour under all the changing circumstances 
they had seen together ; but I do not know a 



THE END OF A PASSAGE 135 

ttrthafdoVur V'''"r "^" " ^^"-"- 

learn a little more. '"' ^'''''''''- ^' '^^^^ ^o 

Whatever could have loosened Dint'c , 
usually so still, except thef-^ ^-^ t-'*"*^"^' 
condemned to dleness for « }^\^^ '"'' 

and was surrounded bvXli ''"^^'^^^^le time 
drawn to by the jl '\.\^°'" ^^ ^^' 

behaveddurl sole 11'°.''^"'? '^'y ^'^ 
He did not WeXn, ^ *^ *'T'' " ""known. 

" Why, what hapnened tn vr,„ i ^ „ 
queried two or U.ree o" the £': 'S 'T'^ 
an accident? " ' "'" y*'" have 

hp^'^^V'*'''' ^ ''"'' ^° accident all richt T 
my laTif rd""f°* " ''"^'^^ to hlf^been 

daUSdlnVjrwinftth^c'^^"^^^ 
out, an' thf <i;r.,.I , "^ ^''P^ comin' 

night andtytfnearlv tf ""' "^^ ^^ 

I was as fit aL weirafL, r ™''*^^' "'^*'' 
*^" as ever I was m my life. 



^■^!((« 


\ 


Hi 


1 


i 


■ U 


Wai& 


■ 1 



186 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

And then, when we got to Calcutta, all hands 
took their discharges; they was a crowd very 
much like the lot we've just been shipmates 
with, an' I was one of 'em, an' I joined 'em. 
What did I know or care about the kindness I'd 
been getting or the real good lime I'd a had 
lyin' there in lugsury? 

"The skipper never reminded me — he wasn't 
that sort; he just paid ine my full money an' 
let me go, an' I went on a tear with the crowd. 
But they didn't forget me because I'd been 
better off than they had, so they set about me, 
an' hammered me to shakings almost an' went 
through me an' left mp all broke up, as I said." 
"T :,. uld say it served you jolly well right, 
boss," jerked out one of the lads, getting very 
red in the face. " Why, even a poor wolf 'd be 
grateful for what you'd had done for you." 

"William is quite right," calmly rejoined 
Dick, in the quiet that ensued. " It not only 
served me right, but I never ought to have had 
a chance agen. No one knows that now 
better than I do. But there's people in the 
world that never lose faith in and hope for even 
the worst of us, an' there was some o' them in 
Calcutta. An' I've only just woke up to the 
fact that if he's alive I shall see one of the men 
that believed in me— in me! mind you, an' 
there ain't a more worthless wastrel in the 



THE END OF A PASSAGE 



187 



crowd of ours than I was, 
I— I " 

It was here that the 



An* when I see him, 



, . .- "' ""= wonderful thing 

happened, the illuminating point for Dick and 
many others. He, who had never before 
shown that he was susceptible of human 
emotion, who had seemed equally impervious 
to love, joy, hate, heat, cold, hunger, or 
fatigue, now broke down choked, and big 
leaden drops forced themselves out of his eyes 
and rolled down his face. Awe-stricken, the 
boys gazeo; at him; two, Willie and another, 
turned away as if the sight was too sacred to 
look upon, and indeed, although they did not 
know It, that was so, for it was the birth-time 
or a soul. 

Presently, in a strange, unnatural sort of 
voice, Dick said, "I'm sorry, lads. I thmk I 
must be a bit queer. Got a knock, perhaps, and 
didn t know it in the hurry-scurry. But I'm 
all right agen now, only I think I'll try and find 
a comer somewhere and lie down an' have a 
caulk." 

And suiting the action to the word he 
strolled away to a place beside the steam-chest, 
where he stretched himself on the bare deck 
and apparently courted sleep. Really his brain, 
which had never troubled him before, was 
abnormaUy busy trying to find out why? why? 






188 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

why? But persistent through all the welter 
of confusion in that poor just-awakened soul 
there shone one beam of certainty. If only 
George Ward were still alive and he could 
meet him, how great, how splendid would that 
meeting be for him, Dick! As he lay and 
chewed the cud of these new ideas the desire to 
see his benefactor amounted to positive pain, 
such as he had never felt before. It surged 
through his whole being, goaded him, until he 
had to clench his hands and teeth and force 
himself to be still, to exercise a restraint over 
himself which had never been necessary under 
the most acute bodily pain before. And at 
last the conflict was so overpowering that he fell 
asleep and slept as if he were dead, awaking only 
when the rushing about of everybody roused him 
to a knowledge that the tug-boat was at her pier, 
and he with his shipmates were expected to get 
ashore. 

There was quite a sensation in the city when 
the news became known, and Dick with the 
officers were objects of much solicitude at the 
Sailors' Home. But, warned by the captain, 
they said nothing for fear of doing harm. They 
only accepted gratefully such help in the way 
of change of clothing and r little pocket-money 
as came to them from the consignees. And then 
came the event that Dick had longed for and— 



THE END OF A PASSAGE 189 
dreaded. The door of the room in which he sat 

glistening, his hands widespread. 

tJy '" ofjitt'e use trying to describe Di.k's 

weT^haf hi ^' m"^.^ '"y ^'^ "">» he felt so 
weak that he couldn't stand, and if he could 

have added that his liver turned to ,Ter 
whjch .s about the most expressive simiei 
know. However, Mr. Ward advanced unon 
h.m, seized him, looked him up and down SS 
said fervently, "Thank God." Then he sat 
down by Dick's side and began in Ws qua n 

about all sorts of extraneous matters. But Dick 

tT nf^*^ .^™- ^' '"^i^t^^^d his dry 1 PS 
two^r three times, cleared his throat and a't Ust 

"Mr. Ward, I've come back to thank you 
for saving a man, but I never really thought 
al>out it until last night I'vp hZ. ^ 
ever sinrp T Uf* u t , "**° " ""«» 

aiVt Tt n '^^*. !"^••^ \ ^^^^ that, though I 
amt got no pride in it; but I never fullv 
realised that it was all your work until I st 

mfde'me f^ '.* "T "^° '"^ '° « -<""ent nd 
made me feel as I never felt before. Then I 

wanted so much as to see you agen, an' now 



. IS » 



ii 



140 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

J. see you, I feel I don't want anything eke in 
the world. If there's anything I can do for you 
I'll do it at any cost of my flesh and blood. I 
haven't got any money as far as I know; what 
I had has gone down in the ship." 

"My dear man," said Ward brokenly, "say 
no more. I'll show you a way to thank me 
presently, and it won't be a cheap way either. 
Just now I'm too full of gladness to say or do 
anything but just thank God that I've been 
permitted to see the result of my prayers. 
I've often thought myself a poor shote, hadn't 
anything to show the Master; but I'm full of 
hope now, thanks to my having met you. 
For if I've been the means of reclaiming you 
and setting you on your feet with your face to 
the sky, it's as much honour as any man dare 
hope for in this world. And besides, what about 
that good man, Mr. WiUiams? Hasn't he been 
boosting you with all sorts of real help? " 

" I — I — d-don't know," stammered Dick be- 
wilderedly. "I never thought of that before. 
An' yet — why, of course, it must be so. Surely 
I sh'd never have got the show I have if it hadn't 
been for him. An' I've never thanked him 
neither. Well, I got a lot to learn still, there's 
no two ways about that." 

"Don't you allow anything of that kind to 
worry you, Mister Man, not for one second 



THE END OF A PASSAGE ui 

W.i*i* ^^^ T ^""^ """y^^^S "l^"* friend 
Williams, and I guess that he's unfolded him- 
self to me some, I'm certain that what you've 
done m the way of growing in manhood is the 
best possible thanks you could possibly have 

sweet-sounding and aU right in their place, 
are cheap, there's no getting away from that 
But when friend WilUams sees your face and 
hears your story he'll be as elated as I am this 
day, for he'll taste the sweetest pleasure known 
to mankind. 

w '^V.n'^J'^'' ^''''- "'*'» be a long time 
before he'll have that pleasure. I left him in 
l!.ngland, and I've no idea where he is now. I 
wish I had." 

^'M'";'^ "'""i'* "^''^ "°°y **^'°«s harder to 
gratify than that, then," replied Ward, "for he 
IS here in Calcutta, has been here a month " 




u 






CHAPTER XI 



THE COPING STONE 



By a natural coincidence, the meeting of Mr. 
Williams with his protigd, of whom, as will be 
well understood, he had never lost sight, occurred 
just as Mr. Ward had arrived at the Sailors' 
Home to renew a conversation he had enjoyed 
with Dick the previous evening. I have omitted 
it for many reasons, but chiefly because I do not 
wish by publishing reasonable facts to injure 
those who put their money into a book of mine. 
And Ward's conversation with Dick was of 
that kind which the world, even that part of it 
which calls itself Christian, does not want to 
know about, imless it be wrapped in phraseology 
bearing no resemblance to the real facts of life. 

But I can say this much without offending 
the nice taste of the reader, that the wise, 
kindly, and sensible man. Ward, fully believed 
at the close of his conversation with Dick that 
the latter had been thus amazingly altered 
because of the influence of the Gospel upon 
him, even though he was quite unconscious of 
the fact. Not only so, but a single word upon 

142 



THE COPING STONE 148 

the topic had never crossed his lips, a single 
idea on the subject had never iUuminated his 
mind; m common with his shipmates in the 
Mooltan, as far as any one can judge, any form 
or practice of religion of any kind was as 
distant from their imaginings as if they had 
belonged to the lower animals. By this I do 
not mean that they were what is caUed heathen, 
for no doubt aU of them had, at some time or 
other, been taught something about God the 
Father, and His Son; I only mean that never 
by any chance did one of the^n convey to 
another an idea that God or Christ meant any- 
thing at all to him. 

"Horrible I Impossible! Unbelievable!" 
I hear some good folks cry. Very well. I 
cannot prove the matter to you, I can only 
assert it with all the emphasis I have and leave 
the matter there with the conviction that I 
speak the plain truth about six British ships out 
of ten now afloat, and that this was certainly the 
case in nine ships out of ten in which I sailed 
during my fifteen years at sea. 

But as this is merely a digression I gladly 
leave it. At last into the dim recesses of 
Dick's mind, empty, swept, and garnished as 
they were, there came a luminous idea that he 
might give great satisfaction to the man who, 
of all others on earth, he felt had the most 






Vi ; 



m 



144 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

claim upon him. And he clung to that idea, 
fostered it, loved it ; for it satisfied a need that 
had been growing upon him ever since he had 
begun to cHmb the steps of manhood, a need 
that his steadfast helpfulness to the apprentice, 
Willie White, had only increased, not appeased, 
since he coidd not help feelmg that there he 
received much more than he could ever hope 
to give. 

Then he suddenly remembered Mr. Williams, 
and the recollection came with something like 
a jolt. Of course, he did not know at all what 
he owed to that good fellow and his hobby. In 
any case his knowledge would have been vague ; 
but he found himself wondering why it was 
that he did not feel more grateful for the help 
he did not know of, the interest that his bene- 
factor had taken in such a worthless wastrel 
as he knew himself to have been. But just as 
we either believe a thing or we don't when it 
is not susceptible of proof, and no amount of 
persuasion or argument can alter our innermost 
attitude of soid towards it, so Dick felt towards 
Mr. Williams, and soon he wisely gave up the 
effort to try to imderstand the puzzle. 

That afternoon Mr. Williams and the mis- 
sionary. Ward, arrived at the Sailors' Home 
together and met Dick, who was eagerly wait- 
ing to receive them. Ward was so full of his 



THE COPING STONE 



145 

enthusiasm over his convert that before the 
trio had been together five minutes he had 
bubbled over to Mr. Williams about it, and he 
was not a httle daunted and chilled to find that 

frS^^f 'f^T^ ^'' '•*P*"'«« ^ery coldly 
indeed, if not with a positive dislike. 

This attitude so impressed him that he could 

notj-estram his feelings, and presently blurted 

"You don;t seem exactly pleased about 
something, friend WiUiams, and if I didn't 
know you so well, I'd be tempted to think that 

r/^^^l?"'^ ^^ ""y interfering with your 
PTot^g^. That I don't, because I can't, believe. 
Your mmd is too big for that. And since 
the result of your experiment is so perfectly 
satisfactory, I'm more than a little puzzled 
to know what it is that clouds your brow 
and keeps you silent, except from short sar- 
Si-^"^' quite unlike you. Unless- 

'; Why don't you go on. Ward? " interjected 
Williams. You are free to speak your mind 
aren t you? Why don't you say all you thmk? 
When you have done so I'll teU you something 
that may surprise you— perhaps not, though." 

I m ashamed, friend Williams, of doubting 
your tolerance, but it did just occur to me-the 
doubt was raised in my mind-that perhaps 



Ill 



\'- i 



146 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

I was making too much, in your estimation, of 
the part that religion has played in the raising of 
our brother." 

"Well, you were quite right, strange as it 
may appear to 3'ou. I have the gravest doubts 
about your methods, and I had hoped to 
raise Dick Mort by methods of sheer common 
sense without the supernatural being obtruded 
at all. I give you credit for not only being 
absolutely sincere and faithful, and I don't 
believe you would be dishonest even in thought, 
but I earnestly wish you hadn't come into this 
business at all. I'm certain I could have done 
very well without you. And now I find you 
here again interfering in my work, and — oh, you 
needn't shake your head — claiming all the credit 
of it for your particular ' ism,' whatever that may 
be. Don't think me either an atheist or an infidel, 
because, according to the real meaning of those 
words, I am neither ; but I tell you frankly that 
I hate the arrogance of those who believe that 
their little creeds sway the forces that rule the 
imiverse. 

"There, I haven't said so much at a time 
for years, but then I haven't been so much 
upset and annoyed for I don't know when, and 
what makes it all the harder to bear is the fact 
that I have a very genuine regard for you. 
Only I feel sure that you'll spoil Dick here," 



THE COPING STONE 14T 

and he laid his hand affectionately upon Dick's 
shoulder. 

Ward stood as if rooted to the spot, his eyes 
glistening with unshed tears and his face, despite 
the power of self-control which he shared with 
the best of his countrymen, working convul- 
sively. At last he said— 

"Friend Williams, I can't teU you how 
wrong I believe you to be, and if I could, you 
would not believe. But I can leave you with 
Dick, as I am sure you would wish me to. I 
will not promise to cut his acquaintance— I owe 
my Master better service than that— but I will 
promise never to take part in such a scene of 
trial as this again. Dick, dear man, you know 
where I am to be found at any time. For the 
present, good-day both of you." 

And he hurried away, evidently fearful that 
his control would give way before witnesses, 
«.aving Dick staring after him like a man who 
has been stunned. When his footsteps had 
died away Mr. Williams, motioning Dick to a 
chair, took one himself and said as calmly as if 

the just-ended scene had not occurred 

"Well, Dick, I can see that you haven't gone 

backward since I left you in London, but I'd 

like to know how you feel about things. What's 

your outlook on life now? " 

Poor Dick could no more have answered 






m 



148 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

such a question (Williams didn't expect him 
to either) than one of us could calculate the 
area of a conic section ofiPhand without tables; 
but one thing he did know, and that was that 
he was indebted to the quiet, rather sardonic 
man before him for many material things. 
He was also aware that he had not nearly as 
much regard for him as he had for the man who 
had just gone out. He did not know why, nor 
could he find any way to explain, so he did not 
try. But he said, with a very red face and a 
tremendous effort — 

"I know I've been a great expense to you, 
Mr. WiUiams, this last year, an' I'm much 
obliged for your interest in a poor broken-up 
wastrel like me, but if you'll kindly take from 
me what I've earned siace you sent me afloat 
again (I've really earned it, sir, every piece of 
it) I'll be just as grateful as I am now. If 
it hadn't been for you, sir, I should very likely 
be loafin' in some ship's forecastle now, sir, as 
worthless as ever I was." 

Up rose Mr. Williams, and it was astonishing 
how much dignity there was in his insignificant 
figure. 

"Dick," he said sternly, "never mention 
payment to me again, though I can't help 
admiring you for it all the same. I'm a man 
with heaps of money that's worrying me, and 



THE COPING STONE 149 

if only I could spend every pound of it making 
men like you, I'd be glad to live on a crust and 
a drink of water a day. Vour friend who has 
just gone out believes in saving men's souls, 
I beheve m savmg their bodies to do the work 
of the world, but you can't do either with 
money alone, you must have the help of the 
man you re trying to save. You've bucked up. 
I ve heard aU about you, and I tell you I'd have 
given one hundred, yes. one thousand times as 
much as you've cost me to have been sure of 
the same result. Never mind, we'U let that 
drop. 

"Now the first thing that I want to know 
IS, what are you going to do now, that is, as 
soon as the inquiry into the loss of the Mooltan 
IS over? " 

"Get another ship," promptly replied Dick. 
1 got no use for the shore. I feel as if I was 

That's all that I know of, sir. " 
.< XT Q"i*««°ough, too, "responded Mr. Williams. 
Now hsten to me. There is in Calcutta at the 
present time one of the finest sailing ships in 
the world, and her bo'sun has just died of 
jungle fever. I know the captain well, and 
fie has promised you the berth if you can 
sail with him before April 15th. It's now 
the 5th. I thmk if the inquiry doesn't come 



&:h 



IJ^ 



150 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

off before then I can get your evidence taken 
on '-ommission so as not to detain you. I'm 
auAious that you shouldn't lose this ship, 
because Captain Carnegie hr« promised me 
that he will teach you navigation on the passage 
home, and I want that you should pass for 
second mate when you get to London. What 
d'ye say? " 

" I say, thank you, sir, over and over again, 
but as Mr. Ward told me this morning I could, 
I'll thank you in a better way by being a credit 
to you." 

"Ah, he said that, did he? Well, that was 
good of him, much better than I expected. I 
thought he might have asked you to pray for 
me." 

"He did that too, sir, but he's alwav, told 
me that praying without working was likr .ying 
to work a confidence trick on God Al'iighty. 
Why, he told me once I might as well be a 
Chinaman offering paper money to a joss as 
believe that." 

" Ah, come, come, he isn't so bad after all ! 
Well, I'm glad to know that. However, you'll 
be tired t death of me by this time, so 
I'll get hence. The name of the ship I've 
bespoke for you is the Allahabad, Captain A. 
Carnegie. She lies off Prinseps Ghat, and I'd 
advise you to have a look at her first chance 



THE COPING STONE lai 

Son'**" ^** ^°" to-morrow, all being weU. 

little short of bewilderment. Howevr, it was 
dinner time, and there was a pleasant after- 
dmner meeting with the lads, who were all 
being entertained m the officers' quarters of 
the home, so that the time passed quickly 

wl T"l*.' *^ '^^^ °^ t^e Radha Bazaar. 

fTrth^in th^^J*" ""• ^*= ^°"°^ '^^ holding 
forth m the old way to a full audience from 
apparently all the vessels in port. It was a 
special occasion of some sort, so Dick took 

nch. roUing tones of the man whom he now 
knew that he loved-and he had never known 
what love meant before. And then he bowed 
his head upon his hands in .>. perfect agony of 
desire to be thankful to somebody or soSetLg 
for the enormous change which had been 
wrought in him. 

And so he remained, the voice of the speaker 
stUl booniing m his ears, but his whole being 
Wled with immense gratitude. The worJs he 
heard mattered nothing-which is why often- 
times the poorest preacher is the most successful 
proselytM,er. because it is character, not words, 
that tells. Then as he sat stiU, after the 



152 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

audience had melted away, Ward came up to 
him, giving a little glad cry as he recognised 
him and haling him off to bis tiny den at the 
back of the hall. Into those sacred precincts 
we will not penetrate, becf.se what passed 
there may not be lightly discussed. Sufficient 
to say that when D-.ok emerged an hour later 
there was a new firmness in his step, a new 
light in his eye; he had received the coping 
stone of his manliness and went to his pallet 
at the Sailor's Home fully happy, because for 
•:he first time understanding what it was to be 
a man. 



: } 













CHAPTER XII 

BO'SUN BAITINO 

Unpleasant and harassing as were the circum- 
stances connected with the loss of the Mooll 
for the captam and officers of that vessel, the 
holiday was a season of unmitigated joy tor the 

tTme Sk °' *^»PP'«°«''«'- It wis'^the iSt 
t^me of the year for Calcutta, and besides, they 
were made very much of by the best European 

wSt; T ""J? ''''"' *^^ *™^ °f t''^"^- 

Zln thoughtlessness of boys they did not 

SSi °u *''^'"- "^"^ W"«e was especially 
fw 1™™''« dearly-loved mother to the effect 

now a'wta'ltf *' °' ' '''"'''' '^'"*-« «^« -- 
fo7£loo ll^ ''°'""°' ""'^ «°«='°«=d a draft 
bX2w «° "'S^^t request that her dear 
boy should come home by the quickest route- 
Me knowmg how free he would be to^ 

WiUie was a good lad. but this wonderful 
'53 



'■ti 



f I 



;' i 



B 



154 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

piece of good fortune nearly turned his brain, 
and for a little while he behaved like a wild 
thing. Then, as soon as he cooled down he 
sent a cablegram to his mother informing her 
of the circumstances and promising to come 
home as quickly as possible; next he made for 
his best friend, Dick, whom he met in the 
street walking towards Prinseps Ghat to view 
his future ship. The boy hurled himself at 
his friend, and for the next few minutes his 
tongue flew, to the utmost bewilderment of 
Dick, whose brain moved slowly. Indeed, it was 
not until they were opposite the moorings of the 
Allahabad that Dick understood the main facts 
about Willie's altered position, and realised that 
the boy wanted to give him £20. 

The first did not impress him much, but the 
second caused a deep red flush over his face as he 
slowly turned to Willie, saying hesitatingly— 

" I — I— cou-couldn't take it, Willie. I don't 
want much money, anyhow, but I don't want 
any that I haven't earned. I've only just 
learned that, but I know it by heart. An' I 
don't know what you want to give it to me 
'•: f . If I was hard up and wanted a lift over a 
... .d place, perhaps then, but you know I'm all 
right, so why ? " 

" Be — be— cause, oh ! because you've been so 



BO'SUN BAITING 155 

good to me, Dick," blurted out the boy, the big 
tears standing in his eyes. "I don't believe I 
could have lived through the first part of the 
voyage if it hadn't been for you, an' look how 
you ve been to me since ! Why, I'd give you 
half my fortune if I had one. " 

" Somehow, Willie, I don't know how, you've 
given me something that aU the money in 
the world couldn't buy. An' I feel, I ain't 
rightly sure, but I feel that if I was to take any 
money from you, unless, as I said, I was hard 
up an couldn't earn none, I should be spoiling 
myself. P.-t your money away, Willie, you 
can do much better with it than I can. An' 
now look at this ship. Ain't she a beauty? 
U you know, she's the first four-master I ever 
remember seeing. Why, she must be over 
2,000 ton " (in an awed whisper). And indeed 
a 2,000-ton sailing ship was a portent in those 
days. 

Willie gazed aloft at the towering masts and 
the enormous web of gear, which to the lay 
mmd presented an entanglement past unravel- 
ling, and then said with a gasp— 

fJ'^^',?'*'^' '^^ •* ^'S' ^^y' ''he makes 
the Mooltan seem quite paltry. And you're 
going bo'sun of her I WeU, I only wish I was 
gomg with you, but I got to go home, mother 



Il .\ 



m:- ' 



156 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

wants me, bad. I'm sailing next Friday in 
the Verona, an' I hope you'll be able to come 
and see me off. Fancy me a first-class 
passenger in a P. & O. ! I know you'll come if 
you can." 

Dick promised, and parted with the dear lad, 
who returned more in love with his old 
bo'sun than ever. But that good fellow went 
straight on board the Allahabad and was im- 
mediately subjected to the most rigid scrutiny 
by all hands from the mate downwards (the 
captain was ashore), for the bo'sun in those 
days was in many w^ys the most important 
man in the ship, not excluding the captain. 
He could not make a movement but it was 
watched with the most intense interest and 
eagerly commented upon. His critics were not 
really hostile, but intensely critical ; and it may 
be definitely stated that while any favourable 
point would be justly if grudgingly noted, every 
unfavourable movement would be not only noted, 
but imderscored in deepest black for future use. 

But Dick had one immense safeguard against 
any mental worry on that head. He had no 
self-consciousness. While many of us assert, 
often blatantly, "I don't care what people 
think about me as long as I can do my work," 
we are actually conscious that our statement 



ii| 



BO'SUN BAITDIG 157 

is utterly untrue and that an enormous weight 
IS added to our load because we cannot help 
caring what the other people are thinking, 
even those whose opinion isn't worth the pro- 
verbial hiU of beans. In Dick's case such a 
statement would have been absolutely accurate. 
He did not care, because the idea never occurred 
to him that the same callousness which in his 
wastrel Jays made him impervious to the most 
caustic, vitrioUc comments upon his uselessness, 
his sloth, etc., now operated in an entirely 
beneficial direction. 

So he went about the ship with the mate, 
speakmg very respectfully when it was necessary 
to reply at all, but generally listening until the 
mate, tiring in his attempt to understand this 
future foreman of his, made an excuse to end the 
visit, and Dick, with a respectful " Good-day " 
left the ship. 

Now it was not often that Mr. Curzon, the 
mate, deigned to enter into general conversa- 
tion with his junior officers. He belonged to 
the old school who believed in keeping a 
rehgious distance between junior officers and 
himself, even as his captams were wont to 
keep him at a distance. But to-day he 
rdaxed and said to Mr. Parsons, the second 
officer — 



is 



II 



11 



11 

iiii f ! 



158 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

"That new bo'sun of ours is a complete 
puzzle. I can't make him out. He seems to 
know his work all right, as far as I can judge, 
but he either don't or can't talk. I tried all 
sorts of dodges on him, but they didn't work, 
and I can't quite make up my mind whether he's 
any good or not." ^ • »» 

"Doesn't matter very much, does it, siri- 
growled Mr. Parsons, who was a middle-aged 
and very much soured second mate. "If he's 
one of the skipper'fs pets he'll do, no matter 
what his qualifications are. Put it on to the 
' greaser ' " (second mate). So the mate stalked 
away to his cabin with a great accession of dignity, 
while Mr. Parsons smiled bitterly. In the 
forecastle, however, at dinner-time there was 
an enormous discussion, for this ship, owing 
to the owners' enlightened policy of supplying 
the ship with good food and paying the best 
rate of wages out of the port she sailed from, 
not only carried a picked crew but kept them. 
Even then they were rather mixed as regards 
nationality, but every one was a seaman. 
If there had been a man there who could 
not do what was considered to be a seaman's 
work in the repairs of the ship, he would 
immediately have become a Gibeonite to all 
hands; for your skilled hand has no pity 



BO'SUN BAITING 



159 



upon the shyster and malingerer — the crea- 
ture who shirks his duty in the hope that some 
one else will shoulder the double load. 

Among this knowing crowd, then, Dick's 
prospects were discusse-'. with the utmost free- 
dom, and the upshot, as far as one could make 
it out, was that while success on the new bo'sim's 
part would be received with strict neutrality, 
if he failed to make good his right to be the 
best seaman on board, a sine qua non for a 
bo'sun, he would have much trouble, and no one 
would pity him. As far as impartiality of 
judgment was concerned that was the outlook 
for Dick, but, of course, had he known it, he 
would not have cared in the least ; it was not his 
business. 

Matters rolled on their easy way. The Verona 
sailed amidst the benedictions of Willie's 
friends; and, after a fervent leave-taking on 
Willie's part between him and Dick, in which 
Willie pledged himself to keep in touch with his 
friend wherever he might be, the inquiry was 
held, and resulted, as every one had foreseen, in 
complete exoneration of all parties concerned, 
no other verdict being possible. And then Dick, 
tremendously bored by his idleness, and the in- 
ability he felt to take any interest in anything 
save what George Ward said and the work from 



180 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

which he had been cut off, joined his new ship 
and entered upon his duties. 

An interview with Captain Carnegie, in the 
presence of Mr. Williams, had little result, for 
the good captain, like so many others, could not 
imagine how so stolid and apparently stupid a 
man could become useful. Like most of us, he was 
compelled to judge a man whom he did not know 
by what he said, and Dick said scarcely a word. 
How'ever, Mr. Williams had squared everything, 
and it was understood that every evening while 
the ship was at sea, wind and weather permitting, 
Dick was to attend in the saloon and be in- 
structed in the science of navigation, to the end 
that he might sit for his exammation before the 
Board of Trade for a certificate as second mate 
when the ship arrived in London. 

By some strange freak of mercantile business 
she was bound in ballast to Adelaide, S.A., 
whence it was understood that she would be 
dispatched with wool, wheat, and copper for 
London. This, of course, affected the crew not 
at all, save as a subject for discussion in the fore- 
castle during the dog-watches, leadmg nowhere 
because no one knew anything about the reasons 
for the step. Aft there was also but little said 
about the matter, because the business of the 
afterguard was to get the ship safely and swiftly 



BOSUN BAITING lei 

from place to place and that was quite enough 

^jf^^T.^ij "^^ • °°* ''"t the owners of the 
Allahabad had paid liberal attention to the crew 
side also. She had three good officers, two wTth 
master's cert ficates, and six stalwart apprentSs 
the most junior of whom was a second voyager ' 
Wherefore, when Dick jomed the big shin a 
week before she sailed, he came to a very diffe enJ 
state of affairs from that obtaining i/any S 
he had ever been in. save the Mooltan on he? 

Sr h.7 ^^ °°* ^'° «* "^"'^ «>0'e than 

a hour before every man on board knew that he 
was a first-rate seaman, who knew his Job i lei! 
that he could take hold of anything tSt he 
ordered a man to do and show him how it sho^d 
I^st be done. But they also noted that whilete 
led them he was not able. or. at any rate, did 
not attempt, to drive them, and that al hk 
orders were given quietly and kindly, his vofce 
never being unnecessarily raised. AnXr 
thmg quickly noted was that the new Kn 
smile "" '''' '^°^"««^' '^^'ther m7e 
So the officers thought that the work wonM 
suffer from lack of driving power. ThTcarp^^S 

jlfK""''"' "*'« ^"^"^^^ cabin w'rwm 
voted him an utter kill-joy. who was almost^ 



;' I. 



li! 



hi t 



162 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

silent as a dumb man below, and the men began 
to slack oflP behind his back, thinking that for 
all his fine seamanship he was a fool. Only the 
boys, as usual, thoroughly approved of him, 
felt, as they said, that "he was a jolly fine 
chap," and were generally enthusiastic about 
him. 

Now, in all this there was not much difference 
from the conditions obtaining upon his first ap- 
pomtment in the Mooltan, one might think, and 
yet the diflEerence was really very great. In the 
first place, despite Dick's real indiflEerence as to 
what his shipmates thought of him, it was im- 
possible for him to help realising the solidity of 
his standpoint as a man fully competent, fully 
reliable, and entirely fit for his post. Secondly, 
the crew with which he had now to deal were 
without any exception skilled seamen who took 
a pride in their work and who thoroughly recog- 
nised their bo'sun's ability, while at the same 
time prepared to take every advantage of any 
softness or, in other words, fear of them that he 
might exhibit. Thirdly— but this was hardly 
known clearly to himself as yet — he had grown 
in another direction. Those long talks with 
George Ward and the few sarcastic remar 
dropped from time to time from Mr. William, 
had slowly but certainly rooted in Dick's mind an 



BO'SUN BAITING 



168 



idea that there had been a great danger of his 
falling into the opposite extreme to the worthless 
loafer, and becoming a worthless Christian, a 
man, that is, who, while having before him the 
highest ideals of goodness and usefulness, became 
of no use, and certainly no good, because of 
losing his grip upon the fact that in the Kingdom 
of God, as well as in the kingdom of this world, 
law is essential to usefulness, but law without 
means to enforce it is only a theme for laughter, 
and becomes with all speed lawlessness. 

Now, as Dick had certainly become a Christian 
in the best sense of the word, he was in very 
great danger of falling into the pit yawning for 
Christians on board ship, where the average son 
of Belial is alwayc ready to use the fact of his 
superior officer being a Christian as an argument 
why discipline should not be enforced. But Dick 
had been forewarned, and just as his quiet, tem- 
perate life and great industry had developed his 
muscular power and made him a fine specimen of 
manhood, so his really awakened spirit was 
developing in him a high sense of responsibility 
towards all men, especially in that he must see 
that the name and profession of Christian did not 
suffer through him. 

But all this was a sealed book to everybody on 
board, and in the meantiiue the Allahabad was 



P!^ 



m ^ 



164 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

proving herself a noble sailer, making splendid 
use of the fine N.E. monsoon, and slipping away 
to the southward at a great rate. Captain Car- 
negie faithfully fulfilled his portion of the con- 
tract made with Mr. Williams, and devoted an 
hour or so every evening to teaching Dick the 
simple mathematics necessary for him to know 
in order to pass for second mate. At first it was 
a very uphill task, for Dick's arithmetic even had 
to be begun. But when once he had mastered 
the first four rules, his immense perseverance and 
intense desire to learn made every step forward 
easier. 

Strangely enough, because both of them 
should have known that it would be so, there was 
no thought in either of their minds of the effect 
that these evening lessons were having upon the 
minds of the rest of the crew, both oflScers and 
men, not boys, although they, if any one, might 
have grumbled. Jealousy, fierce and unscrupu- 
lous, raged fore and aft. From the mate to the 
ordinary seaman, all hated the skipper and 
bo'sun ; the first, because he was to all appearance 
favouring the bo'sun, the second because he, 
while shunning all society on board save the 
apprentices, was closeted with the skipper for an 
hour or so every evening. 
There was really no ground for either, because 



BO'SUN BAITING 



160 

the reason was just plain jealousy, which we 
know has no reasons, only feelings, and is nev« 
more hatefu t^ ^^en shown'a't sea among 
f^ /et the two innocent causes of all this 
ferment and turmoil fore and aft went on^the ir 
way u terly unconscious of the storm they we^ 

K' !l S.°* ^y' «'''e° "bout half-way 
between the Equator and Cape Leeuwin Z 

harno'L?' r *" '"^ ^'•^"p^ ?-"-bg 

previoriy/'"'*""'*^ °' '^'^ ^^-^^ -"^ 
the^mir'* ''"*'''' *''* ""**'^' ^«'« «<^tting up 
sailorismg as we caU manipulation of row 

pXil :'m' '*"' ""'' '^°°*' because E 
CSr ^"^f '^'^ "P- The bo'sun was 

He ha£?K " • T"^ "^"^ '""^-^ ''y *he mate! 
He handed the job over to a man at his side to 
finish, and proceeded to wipe the tar and grease 

he t^h ^ fu *^,'""° *" ^'^°'° »»« had handed 
stonJ^ deliberately undoing his work. He 
<??^ ™d mquired quietly— 
What are you doing? " 

thrc?T* V •?"* *'''' ™*=^''°' «° properly," was 
the studiouslj insolent reply. Now this indden" 



Hi 



I 



,p 



I r 



166 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

seemingly so trivial, conveys a notion of sea 
difficulties — it was an unpardonable insult, for it 
distinctly conveyed the notion that the chief 
seaman on board did not know his work. It was 
too much for Dick even, who walked up to the 
man saying — 

" Put that racking on as I was doing, and don't 
talk so much. You're too free with your ideas." 
(Please bear in mind that I translate through- 
out.) 

For all answer the man let the racking go, and 
the lanyard rendered up again whac had been 
gained. He then faced the bo'sun with a flood 
of sea abuse, all the more virulent for being long 
pent up, but, be it noted, without any real cause 
of offence whatever. The rest of the watch 
dropped what they were doing and clustered 
round with grins of utmost satisfaction on their 
faces. 

"Bo'sun," roared the mate from the poop. 
" Didn't you hear me call you? Why don't you 
come along here? " 

Dick was in the dilemma prepared for him. 
If he hurried aft he was running away, if he 
stayed he disobeyed his superior officer. He did 
not hesitate. With an utter blankness of ex- 
pression, he deliberately walked aft, where the 
mate, who had lashed himself into a temper over 



BO'SUN BAITING 



ler 



the imaginary slight, began to bawl at him. He 
went up quietly to the noisy man and endea- 
voured to edge in a word, but the mt a . nly grew 
louder and louder, while the watch c.-ypt aft to 
enjoy the scene. Suddenly a great voice behind 
the mate shouted, " Silence ! " 



CHAPTER XIII 



Mu^' 



■J n 
J s 

1 : .( 



t 



MUTINY 

It was the captain who, coming on deck at 
the loudness of the mate's voice, had suddenly 
become acutely conscious that there was great 
trouble brewing, though entirely unaware of any 
cause for the same. But as he spoke he noticed 
the watch clustering aft, and striding to the break 
of the poop, he cried — 

"What do you men want here? Have you 
nothing to do? Go forrard, you are not wanted 
just now ! " 

It was the match to the po^-'er magazine, 
always ready laid on board of Ii,ngUsh ships, 
where there are no legal means of enforcing dis- 
cipline at the best of times, but in cases like the 
present only anarchy, unless the captain is a man. 

" We ain't goin' forrard, an' we want to stop 
just 'ere. We aint' used to seein' the cap'n of 
a fine ship take the bo'sun fer a chum, an' 'ave 
'im shut up with 'im every evenin' for a couple 
of howers, an' before we goes forrard we're a 
goin' t' see that its altered. That's what were 

'ere for." 

i68 



mii 



MUTINY 



169 



There was an approving murmur among the 
rest of the crew, all of whom had turned out 
and joined in the throng. But it was lost upon 
the skipper, who, in a cold, calm voice, turned 
to the mate and inquired — 
" Mr. Curzon, is this your doing? " 
The mate, thus directly appealed to, stuttered 
and stammered, and finally blurted out that, 
while he had nothing to do with the present out- 
break, he felt personally aggrieved at the interest 
the captain had taken in the bo'sun, who, as far 
as he could see, had nothing special to recom- 
mend him. 

"That is quite sufficient," rejoined the 
skipper. "Steward, tell the second and third 
mates I want them, and tell them, too, that I am 
m a hurry." 

There was a dramatic silence. The great ship 
surged steadily southward with every sail draw- 
mg, the helmsman apparently absorbed in his 
task of keeping her straight. And there, 
gathered upon and before the poop were the crew 
of the ship, the six apprentices aloof as usual, but 
takmg the utmost interest in the scene. The 
second and third mates came up the lee ladder 
two steps at a time, bearing evident signs of 
havmg been fast asleep a few minutes before, 
and looked quite uncomfortable, especially Mr. 



ire THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

Parsons, who had outgrown experiments, though 

not jealousy. . , ,.« 

"Now then," said the captain sharply, tor 
the first time in my life I've to ask my officers 
whether they are prepared to take part with the 
crew in the act of mutiny such as I see brewing 

among the men? " „ , • j n 

Both the second and third officers denied a 
knowledge ai any grievance, and professed fuU 
aUegiance to their chief. But the mate said 
rather haughtUy that he was no apprentice, and 
he preferred to know where he stood before he 
gave in his adhesion to a sdieme which, as far as 
be could see, left him infenor to the bo'sun in 
the ship's company. Witboirf one word further 
upon the subject Captain Carnegie ordered him 
to his cabin, then turning sharply to the second 
and third mates, he said— 

"Now then, gentlemen, it's your say. Are 
you prepared to side with the crew in this 
mutiny, as the chief officer has evidently done, 
or do you intend to do your duty? " 

The plain issue being thus placed before them, 
the two officers accepted the situation at once, 
and explained to the captain that they had never 
entertained the least idea of disobeying bis orders 
or of questioning his actions. 

" That's all right, then," replied the captain, 



MUTINY 



171 




and turning to the sullen, lowering crew he 
raised his voice, and said sternly — 

" I give you five minutes to decide whether you 
will return to your work under the bo 'sun as you 
have hitherto done, or whether you will remain 
prisoners in the forecastle on bread and water 
until we anchor at Adelaide, or sight a man-o'- 
war. But whatever you do I shall indict every 
one of you before the Coiui:s in AustraHa for 
mutiny upon the high seas. Now choose. " 

The last words were injudicious, but the man 
was in a white fury at the injustice of the thing. 
At any rate the immediate result was that two 
or three of the crew stepped forward, and with 
a flood of horrible imprecations announced their 
intention of doing just what they chose from 
thenceforward and anyhow ; no hand-turn for the 
ship would they do until the mate was reinstated 
and the bo'sun disrated. 

The clashing voices had hardly ceased when the 
captain's clear call rang out, "Steward! " Up 
ran that worthy fellow, who had been with the 
captain ever since he took command ten years 
before. A whispered order and he departed on 
the run, presently returning, while the crew were 
still raging, with a leathern case, which the 
captain coolly laid upon the thwart-ship rail in 
full sight of all hands, and opening it, handed out 



172 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

two heavy Navy revolvers to ?aeh of his eAcen, 
and the bo'sun taking a pair himself. A great 
quiet came over the seamen at once as he once 
more leaned forward, and in level, monotonous 
tones announced his orders. 

"G«t forrard at once to your house, out of 
which you none of you stir without my per- 
mission. K you have not gone before I count 
ten I fu-e." And he brought both his weapMis 
to bear upon them. Oh, how they cursed and 
foamed and devised devilish tortures for him and 
the bo'sun, but they vpent, and hurriedly, too. 
Only one, a big Liverpool Irishman, stayed for 
an instant at the comer of the main hatch to b»rl 
a parting curse and defiance at the skif^r. He 
stayed a second or so too long, for a bullet came, 
ping! through the fleshy part of his arm, and 
ciianged his yell of defiance into a howl of pain. 
He b<*;ed into the farecastle like a rabbit, both 
doors were sUd to, smd as far as the deck was 
concerned there was peace. 

A mustering of the available force by the 
captain now took place. As crew there were six 
lads, any one of whom was capable and willing 
to do a man's work. Carpenter, sailmaker, and 
bo'sun, and, in case of necessity, cook, steward, 
and third mate, the captain taking his watch. 
Twelve men, all anxious to do then- best, all fit 




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MUTINY 173 

cphin otaiw Silly L S f*"" j 'I' 
instructions to hil I ""'' «'^«° Precise 

•he hcd of ^""Xn i '' ""^ "'■"»" " 

He cam., n,^ f .,t^^'.''"t foiling most signally. 
^pS:^:;ji^r ^° ^'^ ^-* «^ ^^^ -Ptal^ an'd 
[] You sent for me, sir? " 
I did," repUed the captain "I „.„* * 
know what you Imv*. or,f f „ * ^'°* *" 

face of th«> wh^L. *^? ° '^^ ^"^ yon«ielf . In 

speak "to H-^ ' "' ^•""P^Ued thus to 
tLtghs^LtS^ralo-CoSX"'^ ^^^ 

committed to my charge by a good friend who 



178 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

pays me to teach him navigation, and for that 
repose I give him an hour or two ^ W t«^ 
every evening when his work is over for the day. 
But if you or any man says that favour h«B « 
any way beside that you he shamelessly, «»d >'ou 
well know it. j 

" Now I give V one more chance, because i 
would not lights -uin a man, as I c«i rum jou 
for this if 1 choose. Apologise for your beha- 
viour, resume your duties, a«i I wiU m^e no 
difference in my treatment of you from what it 
was before. But mind, I wiU have no persecution 
of the bo'sua. I do not ask you to apologise 
to him or anything of the kind, but a man who 
can do his work and is always wiUmg deserves 
consideration and the best treatment possible. 
This the bo'sun will always get fr°m me. 
and I expect no less from you. What do you 

^"1 say sir," answered the mate, " that I have 
been a fool, and that you are treating me much 
better than I deserve. I accept your conditions 
gratefully, and I'll do my best to act so that 
you shaU have no further fault to find with me 
I don't think I could talk hke this if I didn t 
feel how utterly I have been in the wrong. 

" That's aU right, then," said the skiPPe'. w»th 
a beaming smile as he rose and held out his 



MUTINY 



177 



hand to the mate. The mate took it and wrung 
it hard, while the skipper went on — 

" An' now we've got to get the ship along for 
a day or two. I don't think those fellows forrard 
will hold out longer than that, but they may, for 
they are good men in their way. What a pity 
they are such fools. Anyhow, in case of acci- 
dents, here's a pair of revolvers for you — mind, 
they're loaded, and I shall expect you to protect 
the bo'sun as if he was your own father. He's 
giving me no end of trouble, but it's not his fault, 
and I'd die before I'd fail in my duty towards 
him. And so would any other man that had the 
pluck of a louse," he added, as an after-thought. 

Thenceforward for a week the Allahabad 
glided steadily southward, while her misguided 
crew sweltered in the forecastle on their spare 
diet of biscuit and water. The bo'sun respect- 
fully refused to carry the revolvers, alleging that 
they could only be for protection of himself, nod 
he didn't want to be protected. But he had his 
evening lessons just the same, and, strangely 
enough, he progressed in them much faster than 
he had yet done. And then the mutiny ended in 
dramatic fashion. 

As the bo'sun was descending the forecastle 
ladder after a visit to see how the head sails were 
doing, he was suddenly surrounded by a dozen 



if! 



178 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

dark figures who man-handled him into the fore- 
castle before he could utter a cry for help if he 
had chosen to do so. He was seated upon a chest 
and surrounded by the lowering visages of the 
half-starved men, each of whom was holding his 
sheath knife ostentatiously before him. Then 
the Liverpool Irishman, whose wound was nearly 
healed, hissed out — 

" Ye worthless scum ! 'Tis fer you that this 
comfortable ship has been turned into a hell 
afloat. An' ye'er not worth it, no ye'er not. 
An' whatever happens t' us ye shall die. Ye've 
forfeited a dozen lives if ye had um, it's a pity 
yeVe only got one. But we'll have some sport 
wi' ye before we send yez out into the darrk. 
Tell us, ye rotten beast, what yez mane by ut ! " 

A yell of laughter went up at the end of these 
remarks, not nice laughter, but the laughter of 
men who were cruel and who desired more 
cruelty. But Dick behaved as if he did not 
notice any difference in their behaviour from 
what it had always been. He looked round upon 
their faces incuriously, slowly, as if taking a 
mental photograph of each one, then he spoke 
slowly, and with a smile dancing in his eyes. 

" I've been to sea now for a good many years, 
but I never saw such a funny gang as this. I 
don't understand it. What is it ye want? To 



MUTINY 179 

kill me? Well why don't you do it ; I'm sure 
I m agreeable I don't mind when or how I die. 
and you wouldn't wonder if you knew what I've 

uon t try, because you can't, and it wouldn't be 
any good to you if you could. I tell you I don't 
understand what you are after, and I never shall, 
nor why you re so desperately mad with me • " 
U ye njane to say. then, ye filthy scum, that 
y haven t been a dhirty spy upon everybody in 
the ship smce ye came aboard. W ,d yer navi- 
gashm lessons in private wid the skipper an' 
f,f %~~ ,^"* decency forbids us to follow 

Heaven it .s not necessary. Whileall of the crowd 
were m the throes of uncertainty what to make 
o this queer fellow who didn't seem to know 1 

b ani fT;^^ "'''° ^"""^ ^^^ '°^«°«d to rush 
in and end the controversy in the bad old way of 

skymg bhndly the door was smashed open, a 

"EdlTp^'-'^'^"^ -' -'^ « ™- -ed! 

The order was peremptory, it was backed bv 

groT I'T ■■"*?'^^'^ ^'^'^^ ^^-^J^t at the 
group, and it wus mstantly obeyed. What a 

SSa ''" *'"^ r^' erow/suddenly con 
Topfnt tW .r°* '"^•' •^^ sycophants earnestly 
hoping that the captain-for it was he-would 



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180 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

not shoot. "Come out, bo 'sun," he cried, 
"come out; you're too good a man to sit 
amongst such a gang as that. Oh, ye wasters ! 
I wonder ye ain't ashamed t' live. Ye'er very 
brave when ye've get a man unarmed into the 
clutches of a gang, but ye show up in ye'er true 
colours when a man holds you up as I'm doing 
now. Come out, bo'sun ! " 

"All right, sir," replied Dick; "but if you 
don't mind I'd like to say a word to these chaps 
first if you'll let 'em drop their hands. I ain't 
afraid of 'em." 

"All right," cheerily answered the captain, 
" it's your funeral, my boy. Only if I was you, 
I wouldn't trust 'em too far. However, go 
ahead." 

"Boys," said Dick, turning to the silent 
crowd, "what's wrong with ye? Whatever on 
earth can you have against me? I've been 
trying to learn navigation from the skipper since 
he's been good enough to teach me, but surely 
that's not enough to make ye want to kill me? 
Do you think I'm not man enough to be bo'sun? 
I never learned fighting, but I'll take any of you 
on now with the fists if you like — all I want to do 
is to show you it's a silly fool's game you're 
playing." 

He stopped; the captain looked on with a 



!ii 



MUTINY 



181 



sardonic smile until the big Liverpool man said 
quietly — 

"I weaken. I'll turn to." He was foUowed 
by the rest of them like a flock of sheep, and the 
mutmy was over. 

But that night after the usual lesson Captain 
Carnegie said solemnly, "Now, bo'sun, I want 
to give you a word of warning. You mustn't be 
so easy. You're aU that I could wish for a 
bo'sun, and I don't want a bucko, but you must 
not let men think that they can do as they like 
with you. If they hadn't thought you were easy, 
this trouble would never have happened. You 
must stiflFen your back, if necessary lay a man 
out if he cheeks you ; but, anyway, let them see 
that you 11 stand no nonsense or else there'll be 
nothing but trouble. If you can't alter you must 
go at Adelaide. I don't want to be always in 
hot water. " 

The bo'sun sat tight until the captain had 
hnished, then he said in a quiet, subdued 
tone — 

"Very weU, sir, but I'd made up my mind 
before you spoke. I'm sorry you used the threat 
—no, as the skipper raised a deprecating hand, 
1 know you didn't mean it for a threat, bu* it 
was one aU the same-because that makes a man 
teel that he must do the opposite just to show 



182 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 



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he's a man. You'll have no cause to complain of 
me from this out. Good-night, sir." 

And he was gone. Now for some days, with 
the shadow of recent occurrences over them, all 
hands went softly and the skipper chuckled to 
think how beautifully his notion of running the 
ship worked. Then suddenly the second mate, 
of all people in the world, fired up and spoke 
most scurrilously to the bo'sun, who paused for 
a moment to let the thing soak in, then striding 
over to Mr. Parsons, said, quite quietly — 

" If you don't get aft at once out of this and 
leave me to my work I'll heave you overboard." 

The effect was amazing. The second mate 
had nothing in reserve. He felt himself a poor 
old thing all at once^ but was cheered for a 
moment by one of his watch striding ' vard, 
and crying fiercely — 

" Don't you take it from him, sir, we'll stan' 
by yer." He had hardly got the words out when 
he felt himself seized by the scruff of the neck 
and the band of his pants and hurled forward with 
such force that his impact broke one of the panels 
of the house. And the bo'sim stood with his two 
hands half clenched, and a fire burning in his eyes 
from some long ago forgotten Viking ancestor, 
glaring around for some one to give him another 
opportunity. There was none. He had asserted 



n i 



MUTINY 



188 



his position and the sufferer got no sympathy 
from his watch, who sedulously pursued their 
task while the second mate, driven to extremities, 
went aft to complain to the skipper. 

Poor fellow, he little knew what he was letting 
himself in for. The captain heard him to the 
end, then called the bo„m. Upon Dick's 
arrival the captain queried — 

"Is this right that Mr. Parsons tells me, that 
you said you'd heave him overboard if he didn't 
go away and leave you to your work? " 

"It is, sir," replied the bo'sun very respect- 
fully. 

'I And would you have hove him overboard? " 
'I would, sir, just as easy as I am answering 
you now. I'm beginning to understand, sir." 
Very well, you may go, bo'sun, and, Mr. 
Parsons, you had better understand from hence- 
forward that your duties do not include abuse of 
the bo'sun, more especially before the crew. If 
he fails in his duty report him to me and I will 
try and deal with him. That will do. " 

And the captain departed to his state-room to 
have the heartiest laugh he had enjoyed for a 
long time. Poor Mr. Parsons, who was really a 
good fellow, but had his foolish moments, like the 
best of us, went sadly, while the bo'sun returned 
to ins work, unconsciously changed into another 



184 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

and a better man, unaggressive but entirely pre- 
pared to maintain his position. His very carriage 
proclaimed the fact to the curious watch, who 
went about their duty with a fierce emulative 
energy that emphasised their satisfaction with 
the new order of things. It was a strange 
development, for which every man on board was 
happier and better, this sudden awakening of the 
man who could do his duties of ruling, and the 
lesson it conveyed was never lost by any one of 
those fortunate ones who were privileged to be 
there. 



! 1 



i ;^ 



CHAPTER XIV 

AN ORDINARY PASSAOB 

Although the rest of the Aliahuhad's passage 
to Adelaide was a strenuous and stormy one. as 
far as the elements were concerned, a description 
of It would read very tamely to those who have 
grown accustomed to the abnormal and extra- 
ordma^. The everyday work of the sailor, like 
that of every skilled tradesman, is interesting 
enough to write many volumes about, but, alas, 
t wiU not be read save by the elect few. And al- 
though I and many more like-minded would read 
with keen and critical interest the record of a pas- 

f^*!f?^?'"™*'*^''^"*J"^^™'»Christmas Island 
to Adelaide, it would be ridiculous to expect the 

ml Slr*7 ''°™ " ^'^P'^ ''-'^ *° --^^ the 

piffle that sells as sensational romance to-day 
So we must leave the passage of the Allahabad 

L read nT r- "' ^^''^ ^^'^'^'' '"^ ^ *«ke° 
A a^ v^ ^^^^ *•*"* •* ^"^ perfectly ideal. 
A good ship, perfectly kept and found and a 
-ew now absoh^tely up to the work, and sat"Sed 

wShet'^L '"'^'''- What to them were dtti 
weather, gales, or calms? Nothing; their ship 



m 



186 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

was their home, they were a band of brothers, 
and in their forecastle causenes they claimed the 
biff ship as the best that ever sailed out of any- 
where. And all because once, and once only, 
they had been made to realise that the hand of a 
leader was over them. Unhappily, Port Ade- 
laide was at that time suffering from a great lack 
of sailormen. Wages were £6 per month- 
double what they were at home-and m many 
cases bonuses were being paid, in other words, 
premiums were being given to deserters. 

Poor Jack is ever prone to forget present good 
for prospective benefits, and therefore, although 
many of the seamen had already been eight 
months in the ship and had £10 coming to them, 
they thought only of tne big wages ahead and the 
bigger wages up-country just then offering for 
labour. So the? r'eserted, and in four days the 
Allahabad had an empty forecastle, her crew had 
all taken advantage of the lenient laws of the 
colony and vanished. Not altogether to the 
captain's annoyance, as they left so much money 
b-bind them, and he was not a whit behind 
making out fresh charges against them-but 
there, T need not go into those details. 

In due time the beautiful craft was loaded with 
a most valuable cargo of copper, wheat, and wool, 
and-there was no crew. But for the law of 
South AustraUa. Captain Carnegie would have 



AN ORDINARY PASSAGE 187 

with tteir toi„K f ; "'"^<^11 vessak .„d 
modem m.n Kke c ' , "' ^"^ "' ""^^ ^ "e 

• cre» tW » ,« "^"°"' '^"e' "ill- 

" tliat. If Jl „ere efficiant uid perfect 






188 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

in seamanship, would be all too few, but in 
most cases were, as in the present cne, les5 
than half ~ble to do even a common day s wo)k 

ashore. . . .^i. ^ i. 

Nevertheless, it was a gleeful crew that set 
her crowd of sails upon the Allahabad to a fresh 
northerly breeze off the Semaphore, and toiled 
away at them until, as she passed through 
Investigator Straits, she was carrymg every 
stitch she possessed, to the intense dehght of the 
captain who, like most sailors, greatly loved a 
good start. He said httle to anybody upon the 
subject, but he made a mental resolution that 
what she couldn't carry she should drag, and in 
this, although the knowledge affected h>m but 
little, he knew he would be supported by all bis 

reliable ones. 

Fort '- favours the brave, it is said, and some- 
times that will appear true, for the northerly 
breeze with wi>ich the big Allahabad started from 
Adelaide only steadied and strengthened until, 
on the fourth day out, as she drew near the 
Snares, she was staggering under a load tbot 
seemed to the poor fellows forrard far too much 
for her to bear. But they, thoug' ignorant of 
their duties, were willing, nor were any of them 
in the least backwe-d through fear. Wherefore, 
those who had to dcui with them, especiaUy Dick, 
felt very complacent towards them, and tried in 



AN ORDINARY PASSAGE I89 

ell^f 'Ti!'""*^ """y ^° '""''« their hard lot as 
easy for them as might be. 

down, and the occasional spray that smote her 
and was hurled as high as the top-gallant yards 
never ever touched her decks. pJsenSyC 
«11 go used 10 the strain, looked upon it Z 
normal, and grew to think lightly of othrsimil^ 
scenes m which : \ey had taken part. And w"en 
one day they saw a ship as big as VhemSves 
^der three topsails, reefed foresail and sto™ 
Jaysail ly.ng wallowing like a half-tide rocT 
while the seas made sport of her and k^pt he; 
awash, they were filled with an ,um,e. /com- 
passion mmgled with contempt for the ,. J^ers 

iter '"^ ^^'^ '-'' - - -^-<^'y 

Allahabad one of those extraordinary nods 
common to the knowledge of all sailors oi ^hese 
days. One pas age nothing goes well. C ns 
gaJes. dddrmns. squalls, anything but a ste 5 

scrutmy fails to get her along. Seamanship 



190 THE SALVAGE OF A SAlx.OR 

seems useless. The next passage, steady, fair 
winds, and fine weather from port to port are the 
rule, and you admit that a crew of old ladies 
might have sailed her as well as you have around 
the globe, so gentle and favourable have all the 
elements been. 

But the passage home of the 4Ha/ir^od was 
even more wonderful, in that she had lor sixty- 
two out of the eighty days which it took her to 
get from Adelaide to London via Cape Horn, 
just as much wind as she could do with from the 
most favourable direction, and during the other 
eighteen days, though the winds were light and 
variable, they never ceased altogether, nor did 
they ever set averse. In short, it was an ideal 
passage. The hapless makeshifts shipped in 
Adelaide were in a fair way to become prime 
seamen by reason of their willingness to learn, 
and the capacity of their teacher. He also 
developed great capacity for absorbing all that 
the skipper had to teach, and presently found 
himself being looked up to as an oracle by the 
lads upon subjects which, six months ago, he 
would have regarded as utterly beyond him. 

And so, without further incident worth 
recording, the Allahabad, one lovely October 
afternoon, drew gently up to her berth in the 
East India dock, as smart and trim a ship as had 
ever entered there. The hungry wolves of an 



4 



AN ORDINAR* PASSAGE IBl 

earlier day were now happily barred from inter- 
fering with the crew on board the ship, so that 
p^'ace reigned, until at last, all being cleared up, 
the mate saf':. "That'll do, men, ad if any of 
you want a iitt c money I can give it you if you 
come aft presently." 

There was a hearty " Thank you ! " from them 
all, for they were not the ordinary ne'er-do-wells, 
but poor chaps who had folks waiting for them. 
And so the sharks who had waited hungrily about 
the grim gate for their prey found nothing, and 
their language concerning the Allahabad and her 
crew was utterly unfit for publication. Very 
much like that of the Syndicalists, who regard 
the possession of anything as a crime to be 
instantly punished by taking it from any one 
if he is too weak to defend it. 

Before Dick left the ship he had a long and 
pleasant interview with Captain Carnegie, who 
told him among other things that, should he pass 
his examination as second mate, the berth on 
board the Allahabad would be open to him, as it 
was his— the captain's— intention to dispense 
with all three of his present officers at once. 

" I do not want officers who palter with their 
authority, and need a ci !:astrophe to bring t ti 
to their senses. I know you, and am sui\; of 
your loyalty. And at present we cannot afford 
to risk anything on those lines. So go ahead and 



'M:!i 



192 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

pass — ^you'll have no difficulty — ^you've got no 
nerves to get flurried as the poor apprentices do, 
and as for seamanship, the poor old examiners 
have forgotten most of it. You'll stay at the 
Home, of course, poor chap. I wonder if you'll 
ever have any other interests than those of your 
work." 

So the" p M I; but no sympathy need be 
wasted upon :,' k, who was quite accustomed 
to keep Ms own company and be perfectly 
satisfied with it. But it so happened that on 
this occasion he had not to be left to his own 
devices, for he had hardly settled down into his 
snug room at the Wells Street Home before a 
messenger rapped at his door to say that some 
people were wanting him in the superintendent's 
room, speaking, too, with a certain awe as if the 
people were a cut above the ordinary. 

Dick obeyed the summons in leisurely fashion, 
his brain slowly revolving the possibilities of 
callers, but getting no further than Mr. 
Williams, and he was not people. But when 
he entered the superintendent's room, a bright- 
faced, slender youth sprang at him and, gripping 
him by both hands, cried aloud — 

" Dick, you dear man, I'm overjoyed to show 
you the darling mater and my sister. They know 
you, you good man, but they'll never know you 
as I do." 



« ! I I 



AN ORDINARY PASSAGE 198 

And here the bewildered Dick was taken on 
both sides by soft hands, while shining eyes 
looked up into his, and soft voices bade God bless 
him for his loving kindness to Willie, darling son 
and brother. In vain did he protest that Willie 
had been as much help to him as he could ever 
have been to Willie ; these truths do not matter 
at such a time. But it was a happy, merry little 
party that sat down presently in the superin- 
tendent's private room to tea and discussion of 
the passage home. 

The upshot of the conference was, though, 
that Dick could not be allowed to stay there. A 
room was awaiting him in the beautiful house at 
South Kensington where the Whites lived, and 
he, seeing how desperately hurt those dear people 
would be at his firm refusal, gave way sensibly, 
and presently was bowling smoothly westward in 
the Whites' carriage, which had been waiting. 
And as they went, WiUie took occasion to 
whisper in his old chum's ear— 

"Do you know, bo'sun, you look quite the 
grand gentleman? I don't know what it is, but 
1 telt almost afraid to speak to you ; there's such 
a new expression m your eyes, as if you were 
somebody, you know! And I'm sure you are, 
whether you know it or not. By the way, 
do you know what Martha said to me just 
now? Of course, you don't. Well, she said you 



194 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 



looked like her ideal of a great sailor — ^there 
now ! " 

It was "there now." It accomplished poor 
Dick's undoing, for he was not again able to look 
Miss Martha in the eye during his stay at that 
sumptuous house. Fortunately, as he thought, 
he had to attend his school each day, for he was 
really most anxious to pass as second mate, and 
as the time drew near for his examination he 
began to feel, as never before, somewhat nervous. 
To those who know how trivial is the ordeal, as 
far as mathematics are concerned, this will 
provoke a smile, but it is otherwise with men 
who, like Dick, have no recollection when they 
begin the navigational course of ever having 
learnt simple addition. 

Therefore, Dick suffered a good deal, for his 
usual care-free air deserted him, and he began to 
worry, despite the efforts of Willie to cheer him 
up. The ladies kept away from him altogether, 
for they saw that he was only driven distracted 
by their presence. And, of course, there was no 
need for any nonsense of the kind. Men who 
take their profession seriously, as Dick took his, 
need have no fear of the result. Only the silly 
lads, who during their apprenticeship throw all 
idea of what they learned in the Conway or the 
Worcester to the winds, need have any fear that 
they will be plucked. Dick passed without the 



AN ORDINARY PASSAGE 195 

slightest trouble, while at the seamanship exam, 
the genial old captain detained him longer than 
usual. " Not," he said, " from any doubt of his 
ability, but because it was so delightful to talk 
to a man who knew the grand old business of 
seafaring so well." 

Now behold Mr. Mort, second oflScer, B.T. 
00765, and a humbler man you could hardly find. 
Not that anything could surprise him; even 
when, upon returning to the Boltons one even- 
ing, he found Mr. Williams in apparently most 
friendly conference with the ladies White. He 
came upon the scene quite easily, but the sight 
of him almost capsized the equanimity of Mr. 
Williams, whose mind flew back to the time 
when he first saw Dick in the hospital in Calcutta. 
And he wished, with a longing that was almost 
pain, that the young house surgeon could be with 
him now. For Dick had quite unconsciously 
developed into a fine man. He had the sailor's 
rounded shoulders— few escape that in the mer- 
chant service — but he had the clear eye, the keen 
face, the alert poise that belong to a Tnan. And, 
although that doesn't matter a bit, he was hand- 
some as well as massive. High forehead, cluster- 
ing brown hair, and faultless white teeth— oh 
yes ! he was a fine man. 

Perhaps, best of all, he was sublimely uncon- 
scious of anything of the kind. But I don't 



■:[;!i! 



t 4i 



196 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

know. " Lord, gi'e us a guid conceit o' werseb " 
IS a good prayer, for without it we don't get on 
much. Heaven help the man who does not know 
his own worth-he won't get very far. Unfor- 
tunately, there are so many worthless ones who 
imagme themselves to be all the money, thai it 
IS difficult to know which of them is the real 
thing— that IS, for the outsider— and the wisest of 
us are apt to get left when we try to discriminate. 
VVe are forgetting Mr. V/illiams. He had 
enquired at the Home for Dick, and had received 

,u wl^f* '^^'^''' " ^"'^^ ^««y «°e for him, as 
the Whites were old friends. It would be silly 
to devote any space to telling how glad he was, 

nil T r7' ^^^ ''°r "" *^^^^ ^'»'°«« "l^ut 
IJick , but of course, Dick was quite in the dark, 

although his newly awakened comprehension set 

him wondering why the staid Mr. Williams 

should be so kiddish that night on learning that 

he had passed his second mate's exam. He would 

have been st.U more surprised had he known that 

the very next day Mr. Williams made a small 

trS" i° S'w^' '^' '^''' «f ^h'^^h was to 
hTf XF'''^ ^""'^y sixty-fourths of the Alla- 
habad. That transaction, however, was to 
remain a secret for the present, even from the 
captain who had promised to take Dick as second 
mate with him next voyage if he passed. 

Ihe Allahabad was chartered for CaUao with 



AN ORDINARY PASSAGE 197 

coal, and thence in baUast to San Francisco to 
load wheat for home. And as the kind of coal 
she was to load is not shipped in London she was 
to sail round to Cardiff or Penarth to get it. 
Therefore, our friends arranged a parting even- 
ing, for which Dick, aflame with the idea of get- 
ting to sea once more, cared Httle ; indeed, when 
the time came to bid them individually farewell 
he would have passed Martha over entirely had 
It not been for Willie, who was sorry for his 
sister's distress, and having no scruples brought 
Dick to say good-bye to her. Poor girl, she 
recovered fast enough then— how women can 
stifle their heart's longings— and she bade him 
fareweU without letting him know that he, the 
wastrel, had won a lady's heart. 



CHAPTER XV 

A SPLENDID START 

On November 5— raw, cold, and depressing 
weather— the Allahabad sailed from London for 
Penarth with nearly all hands new to her. True 
Captain Carnegie and Dick and the lads-one of 
whom had now become a most efficient third 
matfr-were old hands, but the fourteen men 
u"f L •^a^'Penter, sailmaker, boatswain, the 
chief officer, were all new. The new crew were 
a strange mixture of good and bad, efficient and 
useless, but one great blessing was at once re- 
ceived, they aU arrived sober enough to do some- 
thing. So that, what with the great aid of the 
donkey engme, and this most unusual usefulness 

A t T7\ ^^^ ^'« '^^P ^^ ««t out of dock 
and started dov,n the river in tow of the Anslia 
as smartly as any captain's heart could wish 

Then the captain, leaving the pilot, with whom 
he had been carrying on a long conversation, 
came to where Mr. Panter, the chief officer, and 
Uick were standing discussing the course of work 

« w°S°'''^'^-, ^™"''« pleasantly, he said- 
Well, gentleman, we make a good start, and 
198 



H 



A SPLENDID START 199 

from what I can see we have got a fair average 
crew. But when you pick your watches I want 
to say a word or two to them. When do you 
propose doing so? " 

Mr. Panter, who was a huge, black-bearded 
man with a fierce, determined face, replied 
quietly — 

" Mr. Mort and I were just saying that as she 
is fairly clear now, and nothing is pressing for 
an hour, we could pick for watches now." 

"That will suit me very ivell," rejoined the 
skipper. " Go ahead and call the men aft, Mr. 
Panter." 

"AH hands lay aft ! " commanded the mate, 
and everybody on board was astounded at the 
majestic volume of sound. Here was a man that 
needed no megaphone, and the pilot, who like 
every one else was arrested by the wonder of that 
great voice, said quietly — 

"I'd give a hundred pounds for a voice like 
that, Mr. Mat Pud think it cheap." 

Its effect upon the crew was electric. They 
came on the instant, they reaUy swarmed over 
one another in their haste to get aft, so vastly 
are men impressed by the magic of a great human 
voice. And the skipper smiled benignantly upon 
tliem, for his heart rejoiced to think that he had 
now a good prospect of a peaceful voyage. Forth 
stepped the mate with a paper in his hand, from 



200 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

which he read the names of each member of the 
crew who, as he heard it, called " Here ! " Then, 
when they were all ticked off as present, they 
were divided into watches by the simple method 
of selection by eye, the mate having first pick. 
Nothing else is possible, but this method is ruth- 
less in showing the ability of a man to read 
character from outward appearance, for as chosen 
then they must remain for the passage out, at 
any rate, and it has happened that one officer has 
had all the seamen and the other all the wasters 
in his watch. 

For better or worse, however, the division was 
soon made, end the port and starboard watches 
thus constituted now faced each other as the 
skipper strode forward. 

" Men," he said quietly, " you know as well as 
I do that some of you are well up to your duties, 
and others hardly know one end of the ship from 
the other. Now, I want it to be plainly under- 
stood that the man who has shipped here for a 
sailor on false pretences is going to do the dirty 
work, however big and ugly he may be. I won't 
have good men doing the work of wasters as well 
as their own, and I certainly won't have wasters 
loafing, because they make themselves a nui- 
sance. So let the men who do know their work 
do it in the full knowledge that the officers and 



'II 



A SPLENDID START 201 

myself appreciate their labours at full value. 
And then I think she ought to be a happy 

?TK"/°^nT^' "nd the mate said quietly- 
smoke » ' '"'°- ^° ^"""'^ """^ ^^'' « 

thJJr *''^° TTi" ""' '^■^'■^"'^e «f the powers, 

h^dred thousand, whose wage was far from 
bemg his value. Sp.endid Tom, the very thought 
of you thrills me now! A BlaekwSl rig/er 

vZ: l^^^^y? T'^'^^h ^P^'-kJed like diamonds. 
Except when in suore-going rig, when he always 
tooked exquisitely uncomfortable. Tom always 
wore a bucko cap, a faded blue but perfectly 
dean dungaree jumper with short sleeves, and a 
pair of white moleskin pants. In short, the first- 

dock. He had a set of teeth that a nigger might 
envy, a laugh that was full of music, and heZfd 
do more wi.. rope and wire with his fingers than 
any other sailorman I have ever known could do 

2 "nl ?T^'' ^''"-^^' «^ "8«i°g screws. 
Just one trait more-his good temper was 
amazing, but ,t had its lin ,„d when thev 
we. transgressed the deli. was apt to ge^ 



202 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

I have heard people say that he was just a 
splendid animal because he had no religion, and 
when ashore did occasionally get drunk. '^ t I 
only know that as a workman I never knew his 
equal, I never knew him tell a lie or do a mean 
action, and consequently I cannot help offering 
him this little tribu'c of admiration, without 
prejudice. 

Mr. Tregenna, the third mate, was a fine lad, 
a great admirer of Dick, and somewhat inclined 
to resent the appearance of two such paragons of 
skill and strength as the new mate and bo'sun 
appeared to be. It is possible that he was a little 
nervous himself as to the figure he would cut 
when compared with them, and, therefore, clung 
to Dick as being an old friend, one whom " you 
always knew where you were with." Really he 
had nothing to be afraid of, for he was well up 
to his work, was a fine athlete, and keen as a 
stiletto. But all these fine qualities may, and 
often do, go with a deep-seated distrust of one's 
own powers, that only practice and experience 
can remove. 

So that, taking it all round, Dick's first voyage 
as second mate began under the fairest auspices. 
£ven if the quality of the crew was very uneven, 
there were other circumstances, as we have seen, 
that reduced that inconvenience to a minimum, 



A SPLENDID START 208 

and the quality of the officers apparently left 
nothing to be des.red. This was manifested fully 

upon the tug-boafs departure off Beachy Head. 
Ihe weather was coarse and threatening, the 

Channel was unusually thronged with shipping. 

but the pilot, a man after Captain Carnegie's 

own heart, snid to the latter- * 

u'^L^T. '■"^ *'"** y^""" crowd, captain. I 
should feel inclined to give her all she can stagger 
under. We've got a leading wind now, or very 
nearly but I shall be very much surprised if k 
doesnt back into the westward before many 
hour, and blow pretty hard. Then we shall have 
heavy hammering and not much to show for it " 

The captain gladly agreed, and pretty it w'as 
to see how for the next half hour, sail upon li 

being followed by a noticeable improvement in 
the speed, until at last, with every thread set and 
Jawing, the Allahabad put on her best gdt a'd 
excentT ."^ *^''"! •^°°*^ ^"'"'^ everything 
SrarnlrofTer.*'^^ ''' '^"'^ ' ^"^'^ "^ 

«nd.Tu* ''""°"' phenomenon then appeared 
among the crew. Curious, that is, to a landsman 
but one that used to be common enough at e;.' 
An immense pride in their ship took sudden 
possession of all the foremast hands, even those 



M 



M 



ri 



204 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

who understood least about their work. Instead 
of rushing below to their bunks as soon as re- 
leased from their toil, they clustered on deck 
and watched the splendid vessel passing with 
consummate grace and ease her many compe- 
titors, and they were particularly delighted when 
she swept past some swag-bellied cargo steamer 
lumbering along down Channel at the rate 
of about nine knots, like some high-bom, swift- 
footed goddess passing a clod-booted hind. 

"Why, she's a bloomin' yacht, that's what 
she is, L-^s," said one, a savage-looking north- 
countryman and a prime seaman. ** I never been 
sY' ates with a four-poster afore, but if this is 
th vay they get along I think the extry sticks 
all 1 :ht — an' no mistake ! " 

There was a murmur of approval all round, for 
it was a sentiment all endorsed, a sentiment, 
moreover, that was universally felt fore and aft. 
A great complacency descended upon all har>ds, 
a quiet satisfaction that they were the controlling 
force of so noble a fabric as the one that was thus 
justifying all their efforts. And, as if to crown 
the feast they were enjoying, the pall of cloud 
parted, and a bright gleam of sunshine appeared, 
making the grim Channel beautiful, and sending 
a thrill of perfect satisfaction through every 
heart, as such an unexpected beautifying does. 



A SPLENDID START 



205 

As the pilot had foretold, the wind had backed 
but only a little, and contrary to the usual ex 

^re";irt'h"' " f 'T'"'- ^° ^'^^ £ 

course «ith the yards checked in a bit nnd 
desp.te her vast cloud of canvas, the skin^; 
looked longmgly aloft and remembered thedd 
days of stunsails, those huge auxili^Jy' win^s 
which were responsible for so much heart 

nreftni^^TheT ^ '^n^^"^' ^^ '^^^ 
if J t ^"^ '°« ''°^e at four bells. C d m 

showed her to be going a scant thirteen o^VtS' 
as the p,,o said, was the best that he had eve; 
done in sail outward bound since he had entered 
upon his present profession. 

Contrary to all the rules of fictional art nn 
hindrances to the triumphant progress ot the 

ih btS^fTh '• ''': ^"°*'^ p-d'sra W 

«.e backing of the wind was only justified half- 
E.N.E., It hung there and refused to contLue 

Zrr, T. "" ^**°*^''° t« P^'iorth, arriving in 
the roads two-and-a-half days from leaving^tl^e 

ff tt \ u ^°°'^"°' ^'^^^ «" hands as proud a! 
.f the ship belonged to each of them individual^ 

^XtZ/K'''T'' °°*^^^ being tSf 

^ ^"'^^'^ States, or Australia, or New 



i!tlil 



206 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

Zealand, such a passage would have filled the 
reporters with joy and would have furnished the 
most delightful reading for many thousands who 
could appreciate its significance. But here, in 
the greatest maritime empire the world has ever 
known, we find our leading newspaper columns 
filled with rot about the size of golf balls or the 
length of golf clubs. Heaven help us ! 

Arrived in Penarth docks there was little for 
the crew to do while awaiting the ship's turn 
at the tips. It is always an anxious time for 
captains, for as a general rule crews are difficult. 
The few days in Channel seem Uke a voyage, 
they are anxious for a change, especially for 
money which is not due— they have had it all in 
advance— but that is "dead horse" and they 
want more. There are no inducements for crews 
to desert in Penarth, but they do; some men 
seem to consider it incumbent upon them to be 
dishonest, and having received an advance of 
wages, to evade earning the same by not going 
in the ship. The amount of wages does not 
matter, the principle is the same. 

But in the case of the Allahabad's crew none 
of these troubles assailed the captain. He very 
wisely saw that his men were well fed— it is a 
beastly, devilish form of meanness that econo- 
mises on hard-working men's food, to say 



A SPLENDID START 207 

nothing of its utter foUy-and they did the rest. 
Eyeiy ship s company in the docks visited the 
Allahabad, and were regaled in the forecastle 
with stones of her prowess until the port rang 
mth her fame, and every hand forward went 
about metaphorically with a chip on his shoulder, 
ready to fight anybody who should even hint that 
she was not the finest ship that ever floated or 
that ever would float. 

Several days elapsed before the ship could take 
her turn at the tips, but they did not hang heavy 
tor the reasons I have given, and so many visitors 
came down to see the wonderful ship that nobody 
paid any particular attention to a little group 
that appeared at her gangway, one dull morning. 
Iwo ladies and two gentlemen, the elder of the 
two latter haihng an apprentice— who was pohsh- 
ing the brasswork on the poop-with the inquiry 
whether Captain Carnegie was on board, or if 
not, could Mr. Mort be seen. 

"Oh, yes," replied the sprightly youth; "he 
IS, and he can. Won't you come on board? The 
gangway ,s quite safe, the Mayor of Cardiff came 
up It yesterday." 

"After that we surely need not hesitate," 
responded the inquirer, and the little party 
mounted the ladder and came on board. Thev 
were met by Dick, whose countenance bore a 



208 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

look of the blankest amazement as he gasped 
out: "Mr. Williams, and Willie, and Mrs. 
White, and Miss White— well ! " 

"That's aU right, Dick," nonchalantly re- 
sponded Mr. Williams, then turning to Willie 
he remarked in a stage aside, "Puts on a great 
deal of dog, doesn't he, Willie? I suppose that 
breathless style is the latest. But hasn't he 
picked it up quickly; Really, Dick— I beg your 
pardon, Mr. Mort, you are making great strides. 
Oh, how are you. Captain Carnegie? We came 
down yesterday fully prepared to wait a few days 
for you, but as we heard that you were in we 
came across to give you a look up this morning. 
Did you have a pretty good run round? " 

By this time the captain had recovered from 
his astonishment sufficiently to extend a warm 
greeting to his friends and introduce them to Mr 
Panter and Mr. Tregenna with great courtesy^ 
while, with a scarcely perceptible motion of his 
head, he invited Dick to follow into th. iloon 
When the little bustle of their entrance had sub- 
sided and they were all seated, the captain said 
with a quiet air of triumph — 

"My friends, you'll hardly be surprised to 
hear that we are famous among our own folk. 
We have made a record run round, and we've got 
a No. 1 crew, who are not only satisfied with 



A SPLENDID START 209 

their ship, but are proud of her ! And that, let 
me tell you, is a thing doesn't often happen in 
these days, I may say that it has never happened 
to me before, which is why I am so elated. But 
seriously, I have never felt so happy. A sailor's 
hfe nowadays— that is, a sailor in a position of 
responsibility— is so full of miserable disappoint- 
ments and handicappings that such an experience 
as this goes far to turn one's brain." 

^JJ^^^^ ^°"' ^«Pta'° Carnegie," stammered 
VVilhe, just a little nervously, for he had hardly 
overcome his awe of the captain ; " we'll take the 
risk of your brain turning. We've come to ask 
It you can find us accommodation for the passage 
to San Francisco. My mother and sister are 
ordered a sea voyage for the benefit of their 
health; I'm beginning to feel a bit out of it 
ashore and Mr. Williams-well, he knows best, 
but I think It's most kind of him— he's oifered to 
come along and keep us company." 

'The captain and Dick received this astonishing 
communication as if it were an order for their 
execution. They sat bolt upright and stared at 
the speaker stupidly. But gradually the beau- 
titul possibilities of the whole scheme soaked into 
them, and they began to smile. 

Then Captain Carnegie said, as if he had just 
thought of It, '< Oh, certainly ! Why, that will 



210 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

be splendid. We shall have the time of our lives. 
Accommodation ! Well, I should say so. My 
dear friends, this is the greatest scheme. Mort, 
don't sit looking like a stuck pig, but tell the 
ladies how glad we all are." 



CHAPTER XVI 

A HAPPY SHIP 

So it was all settled, and the Allahabad sailed 
from Penarth laden down to her marks with a 
cargo of best Welsh coal for Callao en route to 
San Francisco. But the fact of her having a 
cargo at all was forgotten in the greater know- 
ledge that she was now really a great ocean yacht, 
with four passengers, for whose benefit all manner 
of luxuries had been shipped, and who had also 
decreed that the ordinary food scale of the ship 
—excellent, too, by comparison with ordinary 
vessels— should be completely overlaid by addi- 
tions made to it out of the passengers' bounty. 

But, indeed, this food question is largely a 
matter of personal attention. Good food is 
cheap. Butter, jam, potatoes, turnips, tinned 
meats, come almost as cheap as the garbage in 
casks sent here from America, which stinks and 
reeks of ptomaines. It is a crime to offer a man 
the filth out of a cask of pork fattened on Confed- 
erate graveyards, but it used to be committed 
constantly. Things are better now. 
So that the improvement in the food scale of 



212 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

the Allahabad, though adding immensely to the 
comfort and efficiency of the crew, was not a 
costly affair at all. It seems appalling to re- 
member that for the whole voyage it did not 
nearly reach the price of some little dinners at 
the Savoy of which we have recently heard. Ah, 
well ! 

Therefore, they sailed away, most happily and 
contentedly and auspiciously, for the wind, when 
she slipped her tugoff the Mumbles, was duenorth 
and blowing fresh. And the enthusiastic crew, 
already looking forward to fresh records, flew to 
each halliard and sheet rejoicingly, as if each of 
them had a personal interest in the result that 
would presently be brought about by their united 
labours. So the big sails were all set and all 
drew, and the beautiful fabric, all alive with the 
suasion of the gallant wind, glided grandly west- 
ward as if she were consciously proud of her 
strength and ability, and was determined to do 
what in her lay to excel all her sisters, entirely 
oblivious of the commercial side of the under- 
taking, or the mass of three or four thousand tons 
of coal which lay piled in her mighty bowels. 

Oh, she was a happy ship! She passed a 
homeward bounder quite closely, the crew of 
which made the usual scoffing signal to the out- 
ward bounders by shying overboard their worn- 
out donkeys' breakfasts (beds), and waving rusty 







IKET. ' 

!/>. 21! 







M-m 



m 



i! 



' m 



11 



A HAPPY SHIP 815 

hookpots, plates and pannikins. These thinm 
give the usual outward bounder a great deal of 
pam; simple as they are, they hurt badly, 
bewuse they make him think with compunction 
of his own home-coming a week or two ago, and 
the use he has made of his monied leisure. But 
the present crew only laughed heartily and 
assured one another that they would far rather be 

r„ J .^"°'' ? ^^' '^^ **"« homeward bound 
;S^ • ^°?*¥y™'^«'tit.too,forwho 
should know a good ship if » saUor doesn't ? 

And the Allahabad was most exceptional. 
There are magnificent ships that any man could 
be pmud to ship in, where the feeding is so vile 
S,-^'- ' "^T ' '^"' "« ^« ships where the 

offhf J?.".*'"' ^ho only get anywhere by virtue 
of the Divine Providence which looks after fools ; 

^^^ *°lf^'P'' ""'"* «*^ °ffi««" »°d good 
food and worthless crews ; there are good officm 

good crews, good food and beastly^i^. eS 

constructions that have committed ever^rfme 

smce they were hunched, yet havITuS 

SSr f^ n -F^"^ intervention of their %- 

pSentt^f''^' ,r.f "'.^'=«™^ -y). but in tae 

nS r^wScks! ^'^"^ -"^^ ^'^^^°* ""'^ 

To crown aU other excellencies, and ahnost 



216 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

awakening superstitious fears in some of th( 
older men lest this wonderful beginning shoulc 
be but the prelude to an awfully disastrous 
ending, came this perfectly gloriously June daj 
in November, this wonderful fair wind whici; 
made the noble ship show herself to the very besi 
advantage in the eyes of those who manned the 
many other craft which she passed. And when, 
just before sunset, she' passed the then Atlantic 
greyhound, the Alaska, inward bound, her 
decks crowded with passengers and gallant Cap- 
tain Murray on the bridge, their cup brimmed 
over as that great concourse cheered them lustily 
for providing a sea spectacle of the highest and 
rarest beauty, such as most of them had never 
seen before and would probably never see again 
—a noble sailing ship of the largest size at her 
very best under all sail. 

There was a very pleasant little gathering of 
the four passengers. Captain Carnegie, and the 
mate on the poop that evening. Dick was not 
there lor reasons of state, though two of the 
parties present felt rather sore at his absence. 
Still, there was a great sense of satisfaction 
prevalent when the captain called attention to 
the entirely satisfactory state of affairs, and in 
order to bring Mr. Panter into the conversation 
asked him =f he did not think such a departure 
constituted a record in i' ,elf. 



m 



A HAPPY SHIP ,iy 

"It's eighteen years since I first took f« tu 
«wan's bath for a livinff sir «n^ r *''* 

known such a time. I'y, ^n 1" /' T"' 
handling men a bit f/Jk 7*" '"^'^"s'omed to 
been mate of YanlJ ^ '""1 ''"* ^*^"" ' ''"ve 

the ladies, but iVc^^ei S '"h°° T'"* °^ 
willing and useful cro^Tve ever "trucf Tl 

I can assure you. captain." '"'^'''^ «'"'' "' '*' 

anLon'SnJhr ^^T^ '^'' '^ « ''''^ -«° 5 
it.ord^iriLlSLI'""'^^^"^"-"---'-^-' 

s,t=«-.-/;-Sd= 

who have beeTdrivr f T^''' ' ^^''^ ^'^ others 
are bone idle tZ7 '"^ ''T """^ "''^^ l^""^-. b"t 

how. but are 'witlTut thel "'*' 'T'^ '^°-' 
are those who don? k'n^ !, "**'* '^'"'*' «f «» 
work. Thev ou It f 7' ^°^^ "''^' """^ "o^'t 
the majoritT thev^ . ° f""?, '1^°''- ^s they are 
J nty they 11 get all they want byme-by 



218 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

and when they get it they'll starve. But if I 
have to handle such men at sea-and that has 
peen my misfortune since I have been an offi er 
m most cases-theyVe going to get hurt. I don't 
want to hurt them, I don't want to hurt any- 
body, but the ship's feot to be looked after, and 
It s my job. and I've a weakness for doing what 
I m paid for and-well, I'm going to do it, that's 
all. Excuse me, captain, I feel strongly about 
this, and I let my feelings run away with me. I 
ask pardon, everybody." 

Up jumped Mr. WiUiams and held out his 
hand, saymg m strangely excited fashion- 

My dear man, you have no reason to apolo- 
f^.; ^°" "^.« man, and Captain Carnegie is 
another and D.ck Mort is another, and although 
I m glad we've got a good crowd that don't want 
your muscle and sinew for coercive purposes, I 
recognise the right spirit in what you say! I'm 
glad to know you. sir." j^ * m 

The big man flushed under his tan, and the 

sSlTn ^f 7^.?''' embarrassment, began a long 
story to the ladies about Willie's behaviour on 

SfnTr"^ f' ^°°"«"' ^h-'^h he. the cap- 
tain, had pieced together from the fragmentary 
accounts given him by Dick at various times 

fTin^ K^ ^^ ^u"°« •""" °ff t« «eek his old 
friend who was busy in his cabin with certain 
navigational work, which he had grown to We 



A HAPPY SHIP 219 

tloh ~* .'^7P^""=4 t° practise until he should 
reach pe.rect.on But on the entrance of Willie 
D ck s face bnghtened up. „nd he immedia ef; 
put h,s work away, welcon.ing his young friend 
with outstretched arms. 
"See here, now," said Willie, eagerly "if I 

ySrwo^VSn';" "^r \' -•^^""'e iime 
fhint f ' ''''" y**"^ Somehow I can't 

thmk of you as anything else, although I'm more 

S ^^'\\"''' express that you are now an 
officer and have got a nice cabin to youLtf 

f^^:lV^' '"''*" «"«» Martha they areTusi 
delighted, for you know how they cottoned to 
you because of me. While as for Mr WiSum, 
he don't say much, as you know, but my woTd 

it' ha? tS ''r ""'* ''"PP^' "^^ MortTgot 
It that time I), well, you ought to be ; that's what 
I feel, because I know how you deserve '' 

his hand 1° l""'"'"'"' ^"* '"' ^'tJ^ his chin on 
ftis hand looking at the lamp, until Willie 

mquired anxiously whether anjihing ' wa^ 'tt 

"dZ'f'.r I?'" !*"*'" '■"P"^*^ ^'^^ very softly 
don t think such a thing possible. But when 

ny gldTu^VV^'' ^'••"^^ "''^ '^^^^ 

ny good luck, you know it makes me feel a bit 
ashamed ^o think of what I should have been f 

lltn • "^T ^"'' '^' «««*J°^« oi the men I've 
fallen in with. I've got nothing to brag about! 



220 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

They've made a new man of me ; at 'east, that is, 
they were the tools." 

He paused, looked at Willie v !t!i shining eyes, 
then wiping his brow, went on— - 

" All right, Willie, that's done with. There's 
some things we feel too much to talk about, and 
this is one of 'em. Now, when we're on deck, of 
course, you'll have to call me Mr. Mort for dis- 
cipline's sake, but when we're below, like we are 
now, or together, I wish you'd call me Dick. 
For, though I'm not old enough to be your 
father, I feel towards you just as if you were my 
little brother. Hark ! there goes eight of 'em." 
Snatching his coat and cap from their hooks 
Dick made for the door, followed by Willie, and 
in a minute was mounting the poop ladder where 
the little gathering we spoke of just now were 
still enjoying the unaccustomed delights of the 
glorious evening. And as he came forward, 
before the mate had time to disentangle himself 
from the discussion, Mr. Williams hailed him 
with — 

" Dick, come here and help me ; we're in a bit 
of an argument, and I'm getting overpowered. 
Lend me your help ! " 

"Very sorry, sir," gravely answered Dick, 
" but it's my watch on deck, and I can't argue, 
I can only obey the orders of my superior oflScers 
and pass them on to my watch." 



A HAPPY SHIP 221 

"L^tf y°"' M'/Mort," laughed the skipper ; 
he understands his place if you don't Mr 

SLffi f T!**" ^''^ "^"'°^* 1^'^ skipper and 
chief officer ! I'm surprised at you ' " 

This tremendous facer, delivered in a mock 

lauXerrih'""' "'''^'^ ^''^ tumultuous 
aughter by the passengers, but, nevertheless, it 
hgh ened a certain gloomy look that was con 
tracting Mr. Panter's mouth, for his 'dea of 
second mates was that they should be , opt b 
their place like everybody else on board ship 
D?ck al""' f ^/--«l-«ble satisfaction, thai 
f^nlc J'"'''"'' '^'' fundamental fact n its 
fulness, and was not in the least likely to overstep 
the boundaries of nautical etiquette. ^ 

for ttT *""'' i^^ '"®""°* «^ thi^ g^°tle society 
tkv VaX'h *.^ '. ^'''' **"■ ^^^^"^ -hile the 
h'us[^rtl ?'^' ^t'^'-^-b^^ten ship, and the 

exdt nT ' r '"**"' ""^ ^"'•"'^'^^^ "^ with our 
excit ng sea literature, it is very pleasant f,., be 

h^ld'''? 'T ""l'^' '^^'•«'^«"' -Pi^odes of 
W.r i'°^ ''"'P days when ships like the 

Sobraon and Parramatta, to mention two of the 
best kno,vn. made voyage after voyage with 
many scores of passengers, pleasantly and safdv 

-.ionalparagraphrthtgrn'raV-ai:^J 



222 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

book-writers, but they are remembered with 
more than ordinary affection, they and their 
beautiful sisters, by many elderly pillars of the 
State in Australasia. 

Still, for all that, we must hurry on to say that 
the Allahabad, without any hindrance from 
contrary winds and with a speed exceeding that 
of the ordinary I'argo steamer by at least two 
knots, crossed the Equator fourteen days out 
from Penarth, and, pausing one day to pay 
tribute to the genii of the tropics in the shape 
of enduring a downpour of rain so solid that it 
filled the main deck, the scuppers being plugged, 
to a depth of three feet, wherein all the crew dis- 
ported themselves like schoolboys, was taken by 
the south-east trade winds in gentlest fashion on 
her course again, those tradp-; is usual lying well 
to the eastward. 

By noon the next day she '..ad making a good 
seven knots with the yards just checked in, and 
the faces of all hands bore a look of sublime satis- 
faction, for that they had been again so favoured 
as to pass through the neutral area between the 
two trades, which is often so severe a trial to both 
men and officers. Where the wind will fly into 
twenty points of the compass in the space of a 
watch, where rain falls so copiously and so con- 
stantly that the ropes swell and require almost as 
much strength to get them through the blocks as 



A HAPPY SHIP 228 

is required for the work they are the means of 
doing, and the constant soaking with fresh water, 
even though it be not cold, is responsible for the 
rheumatism of sailors— not salt water wetting, 
which only makes uncomfortable but does not 
really hurt anybody. 

And here they were gliding southward at i 
great rate, for that part of the world, with the 
comforting assurance that in all human proba- 
bility they would have a steady continuance of 
the present beautiful breeze until they were well 
clear of the tropics, when they would, of course, 
be prepared to meet and utilise the great west- 
erly winds of the southern ocean. It was even so 
The trades held, and the whole crew, with whom 
there had not been the slightest suggestion of 
trouble, enthusiastically aided the forethought of 
the chief officer and bo'sun in getting every 
portion of the ship's gear aloft overhauled, and 
prepared to meet any emergencies. It is not 
possible to exaggerate a description of such a 
ship under such conditions. The ideal state is 
reached, for a time at least, when no one thinks 
ot the money he is earning or broods over the 
inequalities of life, but each takes a delight in his 
particular job, and is only anxious that he may 
do It well enough to satisfy himself. 

The happiest crowd of men I ever sailed with 
in all my hfe, for a short three weeks, that is, was 



t 



224 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

the crew of the Brinkbum, London to Jamaica, 
During a steady spell of the trades the ship was 
practically re-rigged, the skipper working among 
the men up to his elbows in tar. They worked 
all day and slept all night, except for a hand at 
the wheel, and the officer on watch and in the 
dog watch talked shop to the exclusion of the 
usual undesirable topics. And when the great 
task was finished they were all intensely proud of 
the result, which was entirely good. 

So the crew of the Allahabad forgot that they 
ever had any grievances; in the ardour of their 
profession they almost adored the bo'sun, whom 
they acclaimed as the finest sailorman that ever 
cracked a pantile (not that there were any pan- 
tiles—ordinary ship biscuit— in use on the ship ; 
she had bread better than I have even seen 
supphed for the cuddy in many ships). Next 
to him they worshipped the taciturn mate. In- 
deed, he was regarded by them as a superman, 
an opinion which an amusing incident went far 
to confirm. One morning, at daybreak, when 
the wash-deck tub was just being filled, Mr. 
Panter stepped out of his cabin entirely unclad, 
save for an immense mane of jet black hair which 
covered his back and breast in curling waves with 
an average length of four inches. Arms and legs 
were also covered in black curly hair matching 
his great beard and moustache, while his head, 



A HAPPY SHIP 226 

save for a thick fringe at the sides and on the 
neck, was entirely bald. 

He stepped into the tub, and after a good 
souse, got out and shook himself like a retriever, 
scattering th c drops over the admiring watch who 
had been irresistibly drawn to the spot. And as 
he withdrew to his cabin, leaving the bo'sun as 
usual to carry on the work, the comments upon 
this phenomenon were almost awestricken in 
their tones. The general view seemed to be that 
he must be a man of gigantic strength both of 
mmd and body, and that one exhibition of 
himself would have fixed his position with refer- 
ence to the crew as their absolute master had it 
been necessary. 

In a ship like this the second mate finds hims- If 
in a backwater. He may not inlerfere in the work 
except under the orders of the bo'sun, which 
impairs his position, in fact, cannot be with a 
man who is thoroughly competent. Because if 
he does he must fall foul of the mate who gives 
the bo'sun his orders. So he is confined to 
keeping his watch and having a fairly lazy time, 
which annoys some skippers, although they know 
Its unavoidability. In Dick's case, however, 
owing to his placid, contented nature and his 
peculiar position, there was no danger of the time 
hanging heavily on his hands. For there were 
three people who were always ready to talk to 



i 



226 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

him. one of whom. Martha, seemed to hang upo. 

ZLlu^ she regarded what he said as a matte 
of the h.ghest importance. This made him groM 

Te27L ' ''"'*' """^o^-ously. He halnol 
realised m any measure his importance in thr 
scheme of things. But he did fed that k wt 
fadTtho?"^' Tf " ^'^^'^''y' --iS young 

ari and he?..'' ""'^ ^™*^^'- '""^ f"-^ -^ 
around and held their peace meanwhile, or put in 

an encouraging word occasionally as f alf n ^ 

hS. ""^'™'^ '"^ ^'^^ '^^ « «-<J -nceit o? 

At first he used to cease his conversation «nrl 
edge off apologetically when Po^f • 7. ° 

>pok here. Dick, if you were liki- th^ 

» the ship's work, .„d I k„„„ J lhe^.fj! 

« *r;' ^^ S'' -? '»^-, ''°"^- 
..son wh/Tou^shiXr^ ',-'.£ 



A HAPPY SHIP 227 

And so the glorious passage went on, until one 
day in 85 S. the brave south-west wind rushed 
out upon them like a hungry tiger from its lair, 
and compelled them to shorten her down to a 
few mam pieces of canvas and forereach her 
smce she would not lay her course. The work 
was splendidly done, reflecting credit upon all 
hands, but it warned tkm of the beginning of 
the hercest struggle the sailing ship knows— 
gettmg round Cape Horn from east to west 



Ml 

■' ■ ! 

f 

I 



CHAPTER XVII 

FIRE AND WAVE 

immM 

testing of the work then dot"' ''*'" ""^ *^^ 

bur:ittu.ht rtonSir^^^ "^ '^««°-' 

shortening down of all her S> '"'''"■'*^ ^^ " 
no sooner had !tffi ^V*^ ^'"«* «»^e four, 

bit by bt othe sSr°'''' ''"''''"^ "^"«' tl-^" 
the grand shin wa T' f *' """^ P'^^^tly 
fashion and nlnn^""*'"^ 'l"'"^^'^ '° «W-time 
covering herse/^^Jh fl^- '""*^^'"'"*^ <^^fi«°tly, 

of work%trL"?e5'eTtr'- "^r^ '^'^^ 
the .en during ^evSrtsTjp^^^^^^^^^^^^ 



FIRE AND WAVE 230 

and it was made kno^vn that the one duty of the 
men now was the hand'-ng of the ship, in order 
that she might round the Horn. Of course it 
was understood that this included the readin'e s 
of all hands to obey a sudden call with the utmost 
promptitude and also that the watch on deck 
kept aft within hail-they were not to silt 
the forecastle, and curse when called out to do 
their work. It also included hot cocoa everv 
n^ht at midnight the changing of the watch ^ 

Wed for?. ' °^- """''^ °°'^ *^°^« ^ho have 
longed for it m vam can understand. 

wfcfde?' ST. k"™- ^* '^"^* '"^^ -«'' 
Diek'« no V f ^^^ ''''° ''^'y dissatisfied with 

Sssed TaT-^T^ *^ ^°^^'y ^^y^ that had 
passed, and it is to be feared that in this con 

ScT 'bu ' ft '*'^r f • ^-*- - the bo?un 
justice. But after all, he was only a lad. and his 

experience was small; it is a pity thafthere ,r! 

- many like him to-day, who^e as authoTit 

on the pohty of the merchant service Skk 

thought nothing at all about the Zler He 

flung himself heart and soul into th^great wS 

of getting his ship round the Horn. And rS 

^seemed at first that the fight was noTgoing to 

Wowinf « fi ^ "^ ''^ *^^ H«™' but it was 

fCScWnf r-/''*''"'^ «'^'' ^« fi^r^e that 
tore reaching to it was really like being hurled 



280 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

bodily before wind and sea over the edge of the 
world. 

And so it continued for four days, during 
which time, so tremendous had been the pressure 
on her, that the brave ship had drifted nearly 
200 miles to the eastward and southward, help- 
lessly, for no canvas or gear could stand against 
the fury of that onslaught. Then the wind 
hauled round, and instantly all plain sail was made 
upon the ship, which sprang forward as if 
rejoicingly. They passed three lame ducks that 
day, ships which the captain was at pains to ex- 
plain to his passengers were handicapped by the 
poverty of their crews. There they were lying 
helpless under small canvas because they hadn't 
got men enough to set sail before it would be 
time to take it off again. 

Indeed, that time was not long in coming. 
They had not recovered two-thirds of their 
leewsy when, bang! came the westerly again, 
and although they hung on until the very last 
minute, the uselessness of doing so was soon 
evident, and the canvas had to come in. For- 
tunately, owing to the goodness of the crew, it 
could be taken in and not allowed to blow away 
from sheer inability, but it was a bitter pill to 
have to take it in at all. Talk about patience! 
There is no greater test of it than in battering 
at the Horn, even with the finest of ships and 



FIRE A>a) WAVE 281 

crews, for nowhere is man made to feel more 
fully his mipotence-that is, in a sailing ship. In 
a full-powered steamship, which can avoid it all 
by threadmg the intricacies of the Straits of 
Magellan, the Horn counts for nought. 

All their good fortune seemed to have deserted 
them. Day succeeded day without any appre- 
ciable progress being recorded ; night after night 
was filled with te ror for all hands on watch, 
because of the innumerable ice-islands that kept 
gliding up from the cruel south. At last, one 
day, the great ship, emerging from a fog, found 
herself embayed in an immensity of icebergs. 
I hey stretched around as far as eye could reach 
for the ^niness; their flat tops extending for 
many miles seemed to support the leaden sky, as 
they shut out the might of the sea and the wrath 
of the wind. That was a strange and subduing 
scene. People spoke in whispers, though there 
was no need, for there was an ominous silence 
save for the wild undertone of the gale outside 
that massy white barrier. 

Grey and white above, and blue-black beneath, 
those were all the colours now to be seen, and 
their sombreness affected aU hands, poor pri- 
soners as they felt themselves to be. But it was 
lett tor the girl to bring home to every one there 
a deeper sense of uttermost danger than any 
of them had ever known before. She was abnor- 



i 



I 



-.U' I 



982 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

mally sensitive, and about an hour after th. 
*?rf">« f -very of the encirdbgteberg 
had been made she said suddenly- * 

are' Ztl "fhJT^" ""'" ' '*''* '"'^ ^^^-n they 

None of them could, but the faces of the 

S5,r °"\" *^'^P^' ^•'"'J^' because ifshe was 
nght. something had happened that over-topS 
their recent troubles. At a whispered word C 
the captam Dick and Mr. Tregenna, who we"e 
both on deck disappeared to investigaTe Xe 

»t tb,t"i.„ r ■ '"' 'y '^"imised the horror 
she ».. ? , ■'"*'• "' ™* »■" "o fire ! But 

awfulness of /hi' ? f''^ ^'"^ "** ''J^* «f the 

cSnted Li. "1T*'"° "'''^^ immediately 

omronted them. Ahnost instantly she found 



FIRE AND WAVE 288 

herself alone All hands were called, the extra- 
ordinary environment was forgotten, and with a 

tuTdT '"W^f' ^'""^'^ *''^ in.minen o? 
the danger, the hoses were coupled up, the 

inTd;"^'"" ''"'''• ""'' *"« ^«- P-P^ 

Mr. Williams was left with the two ladies who 

wbyanTel '■"""""; '" ''''' d-'-'o know 
on V t t'-emendous activities were going 
on. Now, he was a man who, while he held ! 
very exalted idea of womankind, did not Tn fhe 
east beheve in their being kept in ignorance of 

them m the plamest possible language all he 

asAVethri ^f «^°^™t^d fire spontaneously, 
t is 1^ uf ° ^°"'' ^''"°' "^ l^t^Jy with us 

Dalr ^'^'^^^ '° ''^"P •* ^-^H ventilated 
Dampness ana want of air-circulation has com- 
bined to produce a gas which is not only inflam- 

"S; hr\" " 'T' ''^ "^'^"'^^ '^-'f ™s 
beW and *^?T°''^;° "^•. ^^^ '-'«<> ^^ on fire 

hold It has got whether our splendid crew are 
able to get it within their control. If thev can 
control ,t, they are safe enough-I don't regard 

tneeltects of which may be dissipated at any 
moment ; but if they cannot-then I believe tZ 



■^^; 



If I' 





1 


.: : ', 1. 


■) 


' :-^l: 









284 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

SiSrltr''"'' *° '-^^ -^-^h in one of i, 

yorlf ^Jve.'.' '"""" ' '^^ ^y ^«- f-es' th"a 

twi^: Jht SI"' '^^^ «p^ -- « 

quietly- ' ^'^'^ " "'"" ^""'«' '•^marked ver, 

wonderfSplr^^^^^^^^^ ^'^'^ ^-- «^ t'^is 

conducted thpm +« *k • i. . -^'*" he 

there to IthTt to wT^ Tl' ''^"'' '^«^'°« ^^em 
compelled, beg fo;heb anS' "" '"' *'^^ '^" 
strait from the onlv S^ '"f'^^ '° ^'^^'^ ^ore 
found. °'^ ^°"*=^ ^here it could be 

mens" touf it "" ^™^^^'^''^« ^^^ i„,- 

--. pu^^^d in1o^Te^^br xir ^;.r 



PIHE AND WAVE jjj 

tbrough holes imde for the punjo,. ,„j j. 
volumes of smoke p„u^ f^rie Z JT 
n.i^-m.sl i. proof a.l threJSrt betS^ 

^f.sis:iro.n;Lts*s 

produces Me ^A" s™L ""'• " »■« I""". 
FortuMlelr this was only known fn tl. 

They knew tha/^r '* ^'''^''^^y ^ '" vain. 

srofifH^T'^psi'--- 

Everybody behaved nobly. There w„c J,„ 
if work, and there were no shirkers. 



286 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

Dick especially, wasting no word and stripped t< 
shirt and trousers, toiled like a Titan, stimulatinj 
his watch as no words could have done, so that 
while the cold sea poured in like a flood, th< 
almost boiling water kept the big leather hoses 
leading from the main pumps fully inflated as if 
rushed forwards from the hold. For as yet there 
was no necessity apparent for flooding the ship, 
especially as at any moment she might need all 
her buoyancy in order to combat the combined 
fury of wind and sea, at present quiescent 
because of her encircling barrier of ice-mountains. 
No one there was under any delusion as to the 
tremendous character of the task before them. 
Hour after hour pumping in and pumping out 
without apparently the slightest result being 
attained is horribly trying to the patience and 
also to the faith. And men who have not staying 
power are exceedingly apt to give in, uttering 
some such cowardly phrase as "What's the 
good?" "Only tiring ourselves out for no- 
thing " ; " We're all doomed. " Phrases that act 
like rottenness in stored fruit, only much more 
rapidly. Against this all the bolder and braver 
souls have to fight as well as guarding every 
possible point against the invader. 

It was no wonder that in these strenuous cir- 
cumstances, the extraordinary position of the ship, 
surrounded by an apparently impervious barrier 



H i : 



FIRE AND WAVE 287 

of ice-mountains, should have been ignored if 
not forgotten. Indeed, it is probable that it was 
accepted as an element of hope that the ship 
should be, even in so uncanny a way, protected 
from the combined onslaught of gale and sea, 
even though the problem of release seemed an 
insoluble one. However, one problem at a time 
IS enough for many people-too much for most— 
and so everybody tacitly agreed to ignore the 
ship s position, and concentrate their energies 
upon her condition below. 

Wherefore, it was only two men, the captain 
and the helmsman, who at midnight— a miser- 
able grey twilight at that time of the year— saw 
as if some ghostly dock hands had been turning 
on some hidden power, two of the hugest masses 
of ice, each several hundreds of feet in length, 
glide solemnly away from each other and leave a 
wide space through which the Allahabad drifted 
broadside on. It was all more like the process of 
a dream than anything more tangible, yet the 
actual result was immediately known to all hands, 
because of the different motion of the ship. 

hhe was no sooner free, than Captain Car- 
negie, going to the break of the poop, called 

"Mr. Panter, she's aU clear of the ice. Let 
half the men rest while the other half do their 
oest. We must save ourselves as much as we 



' i 




288 



THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 



r;h.^"*\^* °* ""' "^« "^"^ make some sa 

fashion Thin tK '^-^ "'""^'^ "P«° man- 
officers P^ ''"* there was little rest for the 

m men, and is so difficult to define. 



FIRE AND WAVE 289 

portent Tf°f°* ^^?" ^''«^' °°'^ «"°ny. a 
portent of hope with great influence upon the 

Son o^hftt' T° *^' '^°™''° '""'ked the 

wind was fair, all sail was setTnd the " W^^" 
smoke wa. much reduced in Jize WhyZH 

«m!L .^' ""^'''^ "t^'^Jy affected by the 

Zh /r'''*y ^°' t^'^ continuance of fair 

thev u«LT fi. ^ P""^^" "* t'^^''- command 
their forces ^ ^''^ recovery of 

aymg special stress, as he would, of c^rse S 
sound.H . ''"'%''°f^ how delightful his word 
^ageriy all that he could say upon that ton,V 
Strangely enough, he had not connected E 
-th the Idea of ladies' love. Himself a man who 



■lil: 



= ! 



240 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

had never been aflfected by the master-passion, 
he was not at all likely to give it its lawful place, 
or to know that, regarded rightfully, it might 
possibly set a noble seal upon the upbuilding of a 
man's life work. 

So he talked on, serenely unconscious of the 
joy he was giving, until Willie, who had been 
puttmg all his young strength into the common 
fund, jomed the party, bringing the precious 
news that for the present, at any rate, the captain 
thought that pumping both in and out might 
safely be stopped and the crew thoroughly rested. 
"And if they want it half as badly as I do 
they'll be glad enough of it. I'm sore in every 
bone, and I've been doing nothing compared to 
some of them. I wish you could have seen that 
chap, Dick, my hero, as I shall always call him, 
carrying on through the night. Never a word 
to say, but working— well, there, nobody could 
beheve that a man of flesh and blood could work 
like it." 

"What, was he so far ahead of everybody 
else? " slyly inquired Mr. Williams, with a 
quizzical smile. 

Willie reddened and stammered, and then 
admitted, like the truthful lad he was, that, of 
course, there were others in the front rank— the 
mate, the bo'sun and so on ; but as far as he was 
concerned, he had eyes only for one man, though 



FIRE AND WAVE 241 

he didn't mean to be unjust. And now he must 
really go and turn in, for he was dead beat. 

That night, as Dick was leaning on the 
weather rail in the first watch, thinking deeply 
of the possibilities of that mass of danger beneath 
his feet, meditating upon the marvellously merci- 
ful slant they were getting after all their ham- 
mering, but immensely, though unconsciously, 
affected by the beauty and quiet of the hour, 
ten p.m., he suddenly felt that there was some 
one near him, and turned sharply to see Martha 
gazing upon him with eyes that reflected spark- 
hngly the rays of the rising moon. It was not 
even twilight, indeed the sun iiaJ not set, but 
was obscured by a heavy mass of clouds in the 
west, so that every detail of the young lady's 
features and dress were visible. His cap flew off 
unmediately and he stepped to her side, calmly 
pleased to see her there, but without one 
quickened heartbeat. 

And she, poor girl, was, though as good and 
pure as ever girl was in this world, almost driven 
to distraction by the fact that, although she had 
been nearly two months in the close proximity 
of shipboard with the man she loved with her 
whole heart, she had never been able to detect 
the shghtest consciousness on his part that he 
knew of her love, or knowing, cared, which last 
supposition was appalling. Of course, she per- 



V 



■1 j 

.1 



iikii 



{l 



242 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

suaded herself that his reticence was due to hi 

than the real cause, which was. as we know, thi 
the sex Idea had as yet for him no meaning ' Hi 
awakening spirit had only so far been able t 
«^«P the idea of unselfishness, of sp^^ng y2 

T^ertZnl^""^' °^. °*'^^'''' "^ ^etumfng f" 
evety benefit you received heaped-up. running 

wsit to Calcutta, the sense of an indwellinc 
Power that would enable him. and was enTS 
him. t-^ forget himself and his ol fnteTe"te if 
toihng for the weU-being of his feUows 

man she loved more nearly and definitely than 
had yet been possible. She did not know what 
she should say or do. except that she was dS 

riovS Lv h''^ ^*!rf ^^^^ ^ knorihatt 
was loved by her, and find out for herself whether 

her love was returned. So without any pSn 

femaiar S^/^^^'^'^y^^ she pronounced the 
temihar. beloved name aloud for the first time 
H s eyes opened a little wider and his face igS 
with pleasure as he replied— 




LovEu i;;;" "*" '" ""■ ^""°" KNow,N<f ?;;;;'*r,: 



I 

i! 



Ili' 



" ^-^v. 




m 





f ■ 




1, 

i: 



FIRE AND WAVE 245 

She suddenly stopped him, 
"You must never call me Miss White again. 
My poor, plam name is Martha, but if you will 

^r^l K'l ^ '•'''" '°^^ •* <^ """ch as I have 
dishked It before. For, oh I Dick, I have waited 
and hoped so long for you to say a word to me 
showing me that you saw how I loved you, and 
now I can wait no longer, for I feel that we are 
balanced on the very edge of death, and I don't 
want to die without knowing that you loved me. » 
His face was transformed as if he travailed in 
birth of a new soul, and she looked at him in awe 
as he held out both hands to her. But before 
he could speak a word there leaped out of the 

Sred " FiVe? ''**'°^' "' '""^' "°*^ ^" ^"^ 



f i !; 

i ; 1 

■i i ',■ 

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CHAPTER yviii 

BOATING OFF CAPE HORN 

attribute of TheTlf r 1^'S '^ *'"' ''^^- 

descriptions of itsWer ^!^° ''^^ ^'"^'^'^ " 

sexes. This is especiTuv th ' '"'.'^T''*'"^ **>' 
whnf fK- '^^"^ *he case m the renortini: 

the high^stX iy >t; G^^^ '''"'' '^ 

the death of the Trncl k !\?^'''''* '°^<=' even 

tragedies of seM^saerSce nJ^'^ "' '^""'y^ '^^ 
deepest joy AnH "h V?"^V"°» the highest, 

of We b7ihe lovel one frV' '°^, '•^^°«°'*'- 
sandfold repaid '" '°'"' ^^^'^ « t^ou- 

DicltSd1hui"1r^^^'*''^^-'*«^^^^ 
of joy bT°h; offer 1? ^°'^ 'T*^ *° ''"'^^^ « P^'^^ 
never^nSft ed Sntj ^^^ °' "r''^*^ ^^ '^'"^ 
awful certainty oTSt toTh; ?u'""'^^ *''^ 

whUe he%or ;-ZSrf . - ^^^^ 

346 



BOATING OFF CAPE HORN 247 

would do so, Martha, young, joyful and beauti- 
ful might-indeed, ought to-cUng to life with 
-11 that It could contain for her. 

These thoughts flashed through his mind as he 
rushed swiftly below to the captain's berth, and 
awakened him with the dread news. In a few 
minutes all hands were at work again, more 
desperately than before, for now every one of 
them knew how scanty was the hope that they 
could get her in anywhere, much less to her 

£n.Tl!TK • '^5' ^^'^ ^"«»° *° ^«'P «°d smoke 
beneath their feet; even in that frigid atmo- 
sphere they felt the heat of the vasf furnace, 

£w ssr*.'"*" *° """^^ '""^ "^ «'--« 

As soon as the whole dreary business of 
pumping m and out had been started, the cap- 
tain, caUing Mr. Panter, went below to his cabin^ 
and got out his working chart. From it the two 
navigators soon made the course and distance to 

L;„K.T'* "'"'"' ^"°*^' *^"* '^' '""d ^here they 
might have reasonable hopes of reaching the 
hore -n hout any disaster-for such placfs are 
rare on the outer shores of Tierra del Fuego 
without counting the many risks from the bestial 
a^ngmes, and the inhospitable character of the 

Iat'^«^rr "^''* f *^" ^^'^ °^ ^^^ Horn, in 
lat. 58 S. long. 68° W., and making pood pro- 



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If ! 



2*8 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

S wfnV'T'^'^r^^'-'^' ^•°'J then blowing- 

SiKl to We mm like you ^ Dick lion >riu 

When h^L ^^ooior the weather!" 
VVhen, however, they reached the deck acain 
WihTe '*';S/'^-'^"J'^-s was talen away.' 

"y Clear sky had thickened over with an „»iv 
SStThr' i'^" "''^ » '^«"- meaning ,iS 
gaie. The sense of disaster from the weather is 



II 



BOATING OFF CAPE HORN 240 

always more powerful than any other with a 
saJor so that, although all hands were workina 
as hard as they could at their several tasks, they 
felt in all their bones the coming of that last, 
most terrible trial of their manhood-the com- 
bination of the southern gale with fire. 

Maybe they strove more fiercely to do that 
which they had allotted to them, but, let it be 
eternaUy recorded to then- credit, that not a man 
or a boy of them gave any sign of the fear that 
naturally belonged to their flesh. They were of 
several races, but all aUke maintained their man- 
tS- /«* ™»°y of tliem found space to marvel 
at Uick, who seemed now to have the strength 
and endurance of a giant. He toiled more 
fiercely than any two of them, except the bo'sun, 
who, greatly his superior in physique, found a 
herce joy in showing of what he was capable. 
But It was evident to all of them that their 
labours must be in vain, for no matter how much 
cold water they pumped into her now, the heat 
increased steadUy, and aU. at the back of their 
minds, felt that the summons to leave her was 
°^"—™'ght be given at any moment. 

And then out from thewestward came thegale. 
not in a sudden squaU-that might have been a 
raise alarm— but in a steady, ruthless pressure of 
wmd, increasing every minute, with light flickers 
of snow, which hissed like myriads of tiny snakes 



250 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

vessel. Captam Carnegie came forward hisfJ 
drawn and white. He cried aloud. " Men wf V 
done aU we can to save her. now we m^TtVrj 
save ourselves All fj,- u x ^^^^ *°' 

can bTut, . f " t'^e *>o»ts are as ready as the^ 

First of ll r v.*° *'''™ '^"^^"^ «t the word 
*irst of aU. heave her to on the port tack." 

"Now then," cried the skipper: "e^t h^t 
«e taices-~oh, I beg your pardon," for two 

frUr.^ u ' J. ^ *"''^' t*'^ t^o ladies and their 
friends, handing them over to me later 

Sr^- ^^* '* '^^ ^-^ ^h'P-'^^P^ and Stof 

And so it was. As if carried out in a man-o' 

Sut '°t -r^""' ^'^'«h* ^«« lowered 
without any accident, save to an incautious 
seaman who put out his hand to boom the Z 

af tS'sktoifTt' f T*>^^' ^'^^ « ^'^U S 
Th1 1„ . ^° ^r^"'" t*'* ^°° was nearly red hot 

v^ce o th7i''^ '^"'^ '™™ *^^^ ^J^'P was th 
voice of the skipper, crying. "North, quarter 
east, ninety miles. wiU fetch the land ; ^e^ yo" 



BOATING OFF CAPE HORN 251 

get there you must use your own judgment and 
your chart; I can't help you any further." So 
they unhooked and drifted away. 

That should surprise no one who knows any- 
thmg of the sea, but to the two ladies and Willie 
the passengers who had taken refuge with Dick' 
It seemed that the separation might be merely 
temporary. They had grown to regard the 
officers as supernatural beings, who always knew 
by some mysterious means where the ship was at 
any time, and so they must be entirely trust- 
worthy now. So they were, within their limits, 
but only those who are of the craft know how 
severely those limits are defined. StiU, Dick was 
better off in one respect than many similarly 
situated officers-he had a fairly accLte p^l 
t:on, a compass, and a chart of the nearest coast. 
But everything else was swaUowed up in awe 
and sorrow at the tremendous spectacle which 
now unfolded itself before their hungry eyes 
They forgot the lowering weather, the cold, their 
precarious position, everything in contemplation 

Suddenly from a dozen places at once along the 
doomed ship's decks, there shot up long tongues 
of flam. 1,k. the arms of demons who had S 
been released to work their horrible will. wS 
aston,hmg rapidity they grew in size, and 
became more numerous until the whole vessel 






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232 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

seemed to defy the rismg wind to drive it aw, 

No sign of the other boats co.Jd be s« 

although the distance between them co^dl^ 

have been great. It must be suppo^d that S 

remaining members of the crew. SemtS t 

rapidity with which the fire woi^d spS St 

ast had cut the time of their depSTe i fi 

that, assmnmg they had gotten away safely tS 

had rowed ahnost blindly in any direS W^ K 

^ It was away from that'vast f^^?e H^weve 

they were nowhere to be seen, and aTnSn 

S etentTh' '" ""^^'"^ ^^ *^" ^^ 
Ship except the remote chance of being picke 

up by some vessel which, seeing that m^afuS 

t on th'^'/tf "^'"^ "°*^ "'"'°« to work doJi^ 
It on the off-chance of picking up survivors n.Vl 
se their cou«e for the eastern sKSra^j 



5 



BOATING OFF CAPE HORN 258 

displaced, if not replaced, by a stronger realisa- 

of those people under his charge beingfe^r 
had only this significance now, that thfy Sre rf 
the sex that is not accustomed to be placed b 
positions of active peril, and need all the help 
nd conside^tjon of men in consequencrwht 

daiL^i'^ntW™' "^'^ ^°^ ^«^ - ««!-' 

C:^« a^^d fT-^'^' "* ^^ ^^^ 

IhlJu vi* ° ^"°«^ '° ™«°t«l dependence 
she felt with a pang that was like a death blow 
that what she had fondly hoped for had tjn 

C ?or Dick rhT'' r.T "^ '^' '^^^^ -«« »>- 

his Di?v , K '*»t'!.T •* '^"^^ ^^°™^«i to accept 
hLT nr». T ''''' ^ ^"^ * '^"^band without 

3;erb:!""- ^"' *'"* ^^^ ^^'* ^^^ -- 

er5'i^',t'°;'' '"^°'^' ^°°^^ like one as he stood 
SL n '*'" ■ ^ *^" •^«* occasionally gSg 

so.thertn!!; i""^"P*'°« apparently to do 
so. the respect and instant obedience of every one 



M^ 






254 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

in the boat — immense was the change in hin 
even from a twelvemonth ago. But it is certaii 
that he was unconscious of the fact. In the sam( 
manner as he had reached his present mani] 
stature, he was now proceeding, just doing hi 
duty as he saw it with all the force he possessed 
And well it was for all of them there, that thej 
had to command them a man with a single ey( 
to the benefit of all, and no thought of self t( 
disturb that objective. 

Except for the part of the world they were in, 
it might be said that they were exceptionallj 
favoured in their conditions for a boat voyage, 
Their craft was the ordinary ship's lifeboat, with 
hollow zinc cylinders under a seat that ran all 
round the sides, increasing her buoyancy greatly. 
She was in excellent condition, and certified to 
accommodate thirty-five passengers. She was 
also well equipped with mast and sails and six 
oars. Plenty of provisions and water, and cloth- 
ing too, were on board ; indeed, nothing had been 
forgotten that any ship could be expected to 
furnish to boats leaving her because of her coming 
to grief on the high seas. 

Yet the ultimate factor that decides above all 
the skill and prescience of man, the weather, was 
to be reckoned with, and though they made that 
day a matter of fifty miles towards her doubtful 
destination, there began at midnight the long- 



BOATING OFF CAPE HORN 255 

expected gale, which in a couple of hours brought 
most forcibly home to every one of them the 
utter msignificance of man in the face of Nature. 
Fortunately there are very few of us who ever 
have realised, or ever wiU realise, what it means 
to be on the wide ocean in an open boat during a 
gale of wind. A great many more there are, who 
have seen a small boat bringing a pilot to a ship in 
what we fondly suppose to be dreadful weather, 
but which the people concerned know as "a bit 
of a breeze. " But to those whose lot it has been 
to sample that tremendous experience of the boat 
on the high seas after shipwreck, there has ever 
afterwards been present a shuddering sense of 
madequacy of expression, of ever finding words 
wherein to clothe our sensations of that appalling 
time. * 

Seen from the deck of a noble ship, a heavy 
gale IS tremendous enough. The solid force of 
the wmd that almost precludes breathing, the 
orderly, apparently irresistible procession of 
gigantic waves, reaching from horizon to horizon, 
their summits curling into hissing feathery foam 
which IS whipped ff by the lashing wind, until 
the air is half salt water, the long streaky hoUows 
which seem like graves ready to receive the prey 
of the ever-ravening monsters whose snowy crests 
tower above them; all these are grand, yes 
sublime, if you will, to behold from the promen- 



mm 



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256 THE SALVAGE OP A SAILOR 

ade deck of a fine ship ; but from the gunwale oi 
a laden, undecked boat with a foot of free-board 
even for the best and bravest of us, it is a tinw 
of continuous heart stress, an incessant wondei 

what we shall do when . 

If that is so, and I need not challenge contra- 
diction, what must the effect be upon passengers? 
For their comfort I would like to say— not nearly 
so severe. For they cannot discriminate. Just 
as a passenger will describe a perfectly lovely 
breeze with an annoying cross swell, as "a great 
storm," because of the effect of the ship's motion 
upon him, so in a boat with death separated from 
them by less than the thickness of leaf gold, they 
are benumbed, unable to realise what the sailor 
can see only too clearly, and apparently lowered 
in intelligence for the time. And no wonder. 

Therefore, when that bitter westerly gale began 
to blow, and the terrible battalions of the 
southern sea surged up from the unbounded 
shoulders of the globe, the three passengers sank 
mto a torpor of resigned despair. Three, because 
Willie had reverted from his proud status of 
sailor and become again passenger-it is fatally 
easy. At any rate, he cowered beside his mother 
and sister under the shelter of the tarpaulin boat- 
cover which the carelessness or kurry of a sailor 
Had left in the boat when she was lowered, heed- 
less of the awful se«i coming rusking at them, or 



BOATING OFF CAPE HORN 267 

and cold and utterly miserable. They had not 

^ aS trt TT* '^^ •^"* •" meeting the 
?eas, and certainly they couldn't appreciate his 

eveirV'' •*''^"^^^' **>« ''*'•"- "I^n hand a^^ 
eye and brain necessary to keen herin f K- ™ J* 

favoj^able position witS^regarrfo'^'al'/rf 
Fiercer and fiercer roared the wind hiXr «mi 

b? ThTSaSV l1' "" '""^ -"Hoii^triSd 
oy. ihe dark hollows around Dick's evp«^-.„ 

a «?t c l"2l' *?t "•''^ °°' ""*" ^"ddenty a" 
critical moment he stumbled M\ fi,« /ii 

swung smartly backward a"d st^S U ^o ^ 

aMoXowl^if^d:;-;^^^^ 

t^ cowenng figures, there was no si^i rfwelt 
E L'^*^^'*"°«^y °° the part of the c^w One 

can'ha'ltLTt:; tan''" ^'^'^^™- -^ 
business '^Z . /° ^°"' ^""^e '*'« my 

'ee, that's sartSn \1,-Fi -^^ '''° * ^"^ ^'t^out 
rest." yo"«eit up. Do'ee go and get a 



^ 



288 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

That was a distinct gain, and Dick felt it i 

as he gladly laid himself out in the stem shee 

and slept, oblivious to the howling of the gal( 

But when he awoke again he felt in every boi 

that the end must be near. For now the weath< 

was awful and every wave that rolled up seeme 

as if It must be the last. Nothing could be see 

for more than twenty yards around, had ther 

been anything to see, and the only thought tha 

could persist was the one that dealt with thei 

utterly unnoticed disappearance, like a raindro] 

m that vast area of tormented sea, with no one t 

know of their fate. But instead of this inducinj 

the lethargy that so often accompanies despair 

It awoke every dormant energy— they were al 

good feUows, be it remembered. They servec 

out the provisions in due form, and aU except th( 

passengers ate an^ drank steadily, baling betweer 

whiles. And finding that their tmy craft was 

still gaUantly breasting the waves, still keeping 

her hvmg freight alive, they followed an old, 

great example— they thanked God and took 

courage. 

Matters grew steadily worse, so much so that 
the ^ssengers sat no longer like images but faced 
the fate that even they could understand was 
muninent now, with the stoicism that was partly 
acquired from their feUows in misfortune, though 
of that they were unconscious. Three times the 



BOATING OFT CAPE HORN 309 

boat had been caught by the merest fringe of an 
Z'm^ «a a fraction of a second before she 
had hfted herself clear, ana had been ahnost flUed 
and as often they had been snatched from the 
very gnp of death by the tremendous labour of 
the crew m baling. This could not happen often, 
for human nature must sooner or later be wearied 
out, grow helpless and be caught. But the 
bitternws of death was past with conscious hope. 

rJti V 1 ^^ !."'^'^*°'y ''*^« »^"e o' two 
matters of astounding significance, occurrences 
«) strange that the seasoned seamen were even 
more puzried by them than the passengers. The 
first was « sudden smoothing of the sea. a level- 
ung of those enormous masses of water which 
had been rushmg at them so furiously, a disap- 
Pearan«. of the hissing white crests which^ 
whipped ofif by the gale, had lashed them in! 
cessantly. At the same time they all, even the 
least sensitive of them, became aware of a stench 
so appalhng that most of them feU a-vomitmg- 
811. m fact, except three, of whom Dick was one. 

S f^- "^*^* '° ^^^ •'•'^ 8«°"y moving boat 
and lookmg around in the grey half-light, saw 

trom which spread this uncanny smoothness of 
the w..ters which had apparently just occurred in 
tune to respite them. 
Like an inspiration came the knowledge of 



a«0 THE SALVAGE OP A SAILOR 

what had befallen them, though he could no mon 
recall having heard of such a thing than he couk 
have experienced it, and that he had never dom 
so he was quite certain. It was a very large deai 
whale from whose body was exuding sufficient oil 
io smooth those terrible waves, and produce the 
sleek surface in which they were now nding quite 
easify. It also exhaled that truly infercal odour, 
a stench so vile that I doubt whether anything in 
creation can compare with it. A mass of de- 
caying flesh, some hundred tons o • so in weight. 
inflated with foul gases generated withlr the 
great cavity of the abdomen, until the centre of 
it floated eight or ten feet above the level or the 
surrounding sea, while operated by the curious 
law which governs these limp musses, it slowly 
worked its way to windward broadside oa 
against the bitter, bhisting gale. 

Dick seized the situation, and in a voice as 
steady as his former chief's, shouted— 

" Man the oars, men, and let's get hold of that 
whale if we can— there's ow safety." 

At the same time he had no idea how a hold 
coidd be secured on that slippery mass, for 
although the boat had a tiny grappling for use as 
an anchor, it was not easy to see how it could be 
fastened. However, the boat was worked up 
close alongside of the whale, whioh loomed above 
them large, like a pontoon, and one of the men, 



BOATING OFF CAFE HORN 961 

io a moment of inspiration, saw the opportunity 
and hurled the grappling on to the whale's head, 
where the mouth lolled open, the animal being, 
as always is the case when a whale is dead, upon 
its side. The grappling fell within and a couple 
of its five points held so that the boat was now 
anchored to the whale, only needing that in- 
cessant care should bu given to the rope attached 
to the grappling as the boat rose and fell by the 
whale's side. 

So they rode in the centre of a comparatively 
calm sea, but it seemed very doubtful whether 
the frightful foetor from the dead animal would 
not destroy most of their lives as surely as 
drowning Mould have done. 



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CHAPTER XIX 

SEA MIRACLES 

Although Dick felt relieved, for the sake of 
his trust, at this temporary respite, he was much 
puzzled to know how to act now. One thing he 
felt, and one alone, would save the situation— a 
break m the weather; when, whatever the out- 
look, he must venture out from the vicinity of 
that protecting mass of putridity. For it was 
evident that unless they could get away most of 
the suiferers must die. Three of them, the two 
ladies and a sailor, were bleeding violently from 
the nostnls, and others were lying helpless from 
nausea, which nothing could reheve save the 
absence of its cause. And now more than ever, 
to venture out into the sea beyond that charmed 
circle meant death suddenly for all. One man 
volvedthe problem, as far as he was concerned, 
by rising m his place and plunging into the sea. 
Ihere was a sudden lashing of the oily surface 
wn- ^ *i^ struggles of unseen monsters, and 
WiUiam Curtis never reappeared, though the 
fave men still retaining then senses, because, 
perhaps, they were a little more obtuse than their 
a6a 



SEA MIRACLES 268 

fellows, looked eagerly where he sank for any 
further sign of him. 

Then they realised how hopeless it was to 
expect any creature foreign to that ravening 
shoal of scavengers, busy with their work of 
removing that mass of corruption from the sea, 
to exist among them, and the knowledge added 
a new horror to their lot. Fortunately it was 
hidden from the other sufferers; indeed, it is 
doubtful whether anything had power to affect 
them now. Piteous moans broke out from them 
now and then, as fresh blasts from the gigantic 
corpse to windward assailed them ; and the one 
free man occupied himself by passing from one 
to the other of them with a pannikin of water 
wetting their cracked lips. 

Then, suddenly, as if conscious that the time 
had come, the grappling broke through the hold 
It had, and the boat, caught by the advancing 
shoulder of a great smooth swell, was swept a 
hundred yards to leeward. Again, after a 
moment's pause, she was flung a cable's length 
farther, and immediately the fierce biting purity 
of the wind relieved the lungs of the sufferers, 
and they sat up and looked around. Another 
respite, for the back of the gale had broken, and 
although the weather was still bad enough to 
scare even a sailorman unused to boating if 
called upon to face it in a boat, aU of them felt 



284 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

the relief , took heart of grace, and actuaUy bega 
to believe that they, might cheat Davy Jone 
after all. 

The gale moderated rapidly, and those poo 
bemgs, recently so near death in one of its mos 
disgustmg forms, were able to reUeve the cravinj 
of their stomachs with a little food— coarse an( 
poor enough, but delightful beyond measure tt 
them, because meaning new life. And ther 
Martha, who had not spoken for many hours, 
indeed, had hardly thought, lifted her wan fact 
to Dick, who was handing her a pannikin of 

water, and said in a faint voice 

"I never thought it might be possible to pray 
for death, but really, I did just now. I shall 
never want to die more sincerely than I did then 
Do you think there could be any thing more 
awful to bear than that smell? If it had only 
made one faint it wouldn't be so bad, but to keep 
sensible and have to breathe it, oh, heaven ' " 

"Never think of it again, Martha," he repUed 
calmly; "only that, bad as it was, if it hadn't 
been for that whale I don't believe that we 
should any of us have been alive now." 

"I don't care," answered she, rebelliousiy ; 
1 don t want to live, it isn't worth the suffering, 

V«r.V,.*^"*'' •'"^ ^ f^^'- Only there's mother, 
andWilhe. Poor mother! I'm afraid she can't 
hve, anyhow." 



1V/WV«' 



SEA MIRACLES 2«5 

"Be comlorted, Martha," piped up her 
mother; "I'm a great deal tougher than vou 
think for. Only I wish you wouldn't talk non- 
sense about dying. I ' ve been learning what life's 
worth these last few hours, and I tell you I wsat 
to live to thank God, and tell people how sweet 
life IS. Eh. Willie?" 

"I dunno, mater," answered Willie ian- 
ffuidlv ; " I feel about done. Mv inside feeis as 
it it nas given up, and that poor chap, Curtis 
going like that "—and the good lad laid his head 
on his mother's lap and wept like a child. Now 
Mrs. White knew nothing of this sad occurreaee,' 
had, m fact, been quite unconscious wh«Hi it 
occurred, but she wisely said nothing— she jast 
let him have his cry out, and it did him a lot of 
good. Indeed, tbey were improving all round 
with the exception of Dick, who, in spite of his 
brave front and obAdous determination to keep 
^ing, was by no means the man he had been 
ffis face had grown very thin, his eves were 
deeply sunken, and his hands had an unusual 
trenwr m them— quite noticeable when he held 
one out for any purpose. His men. whose be- 
hanour had been beyond praise all through, tried 
th«r best to relieve him of the worst of the work 
and since the assumption of the steering by the 
west-countryman, they had succeeded to a large 
extent. But they could not shoulder his burden 



.■/:-4tM^Ma 



THE salvage; of a sailor 

of Ksponsibility, prevent him from feeling thai 
all their well-being devolved »t last upon him 
This it was that kept him from sleeping, pre 
vented him even from eating i»s share of th< 
restricted rations, had mswle him live upon his 
own vitality. 

And now another horror was upon him — tin 
water, which had been husfeanded with most 
jealous care, was now redu.ed to one galien. By 
their reckoning, they were about forty miks 
south by east of the nearest point of Tiera del 
Fuego, and with the jwesent wind might hope to 
be there in a day, but in that region, and in that 
horriWe coast, no one could tell when they might 
be able to land— ?f ever. Anxiety for ott*ers con- 
sumed him. Though he reaUsed how much worse 
his position might have been witli a crew of such 
as he himself had been so short a time ago, iie 
could not help the gnawing fear— for others— 
which preyed upon his heart. He prayed inces- 
santly; but like other you«g believers in the 
Omnipotent, could only see certain ways in which 
help could come, and as those ways seemed closed, 
he was fast becoming hopeless. Also, as if to 
aggravate matters, there would come into his 
mind an occasional gripe of dread at the pos- 
sible fate of the rest of their shipmates. Not 
one word had been uttered by anybody on 
the subject, but doubtless it was in all their 



SEA MIRACLES 



267 



thoughts, and overshadowed their hopes of 
deliverance. 

He was serving out the water that day with the 
utmost care, and watching with a full heart how 
every man and woman fought down their bodily 
needs as men fight for their lives. And in the 
middle of his task the wind veered and came away 
from th« eastward — quite smartly too, enabling 
them to spread all sail for the nearest land. It 
was a marvellous change, and he could not help 
a a ao— ciny his belief that, if the breeze would 
«*lf hc4d for eight hours, that is, until four 
o'elft^ the next morning, they would be near 
enougli to land, though he added — 

"Heaven alone knows where we shall find a 
iiiace to kind or what sort of a place it will be 
when we get ashore. I only say this so that 
you shan't hope too muck, because it's got the 
reputation of being one of the worst places on 
earth." 

What did that matter to them? The very 
idea of land to shipwrecked people, imtil they 
see it, is comforting beyond belief, and to these 
sorely-tried folk, whose suffering I have con- 
cealed as much as possible, it seemed like a 
reliable promise of Heaven. At any rate, it had 
a great effect upon them for good. They all 
perked up ami looked brighter, ^n h::rmony with 
the weather, which was better than they haid aeax 



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268 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

for weeks. The strong easterly breeze had swept 
the sky clear of its usual mask of dark grey cloud, 
and the sun was beaming upon them with actual 
warmth. Also some beautiful birds appeared, 
hovering above them in increasing numbers, as 
if to welcome them to the strange land all eyes 
were strained to see. 

During the three hours of twilight most of 
them slept. Not so Dick. He was assailed by 
strange pains for wfcieh he knew no cause. He 
was also unaccountably Uaguid and loth to sit up, 
hot even to burning at one moment, and full of 
cold shiverings the next. He brought all his wiU- 
power to bear upon the situation as well as all his 
newly-born faith, but all through it was evident 
that he felt the well-being of the whole party 
was dependent upon his keeping command. 
Quite natural, of course, but how necessary it was 
for him to learn that no one is indispensable ! 

As soon as the bright dawn bnAe, the snow- 
topped mountains of Tierra del Fuego were 
visible, apparently above their heads, for they 
were only a matter of five miles from the shore, 
runnmg dead upon it. But what a coast ! They 
hauled up and skirted it at a good speed, only to 
find It for mile after mile utterly unapproach- 
able. Serried masses of jagged reefs guarded the 
hungry-looking land, where even within that 
terrifying fringe of enonnous breakers there did 



SEA MIRACLES 269 

not seem pasture for a squirrel. Oh ! the weary, 
weary miles I They seemed longer by far than 
all that terrific sea journey— a voyage that might, 
without any exaggeration, be called miraculous, 
but which being past, was accounted little of by 
comparison with the present distress. Hour by 
hour they plugged on, looking fearfully to wind- 
ward at times in case of a change in the weather, 
but mostly keeping their eyes fixed upoB tke 
inhospitable shore, hoping against hope to Snd 
some spot where they could pass witkin those 
guarding reefs. 

At last when all seemed hopeless, when the last 
drop of witer had beea drunk— ^ they had been 
a httle less stinted of it that <*»>'— and the breeze 
was begimng to falter, the fee^iKst eyed of all the 
crew, Bill Smith, yelled <mrt— 
" lighthouse on the port bow, sir ! " 
The effect was like nothing else on earth. 
Life from the dead we don't know or it could 
be compared with that. It occurred to nobody 
to doubt it. BiU was reliable, and his eyes were 
hke a Buriat's. Oh, it was right enough ! Better 
still, .'is they drew nearer they saw the squat 
umnel and two masts of a steamer apparently 
<*se up under the huge rock upon which the 
hghthouse was built, and the helmsman altered 
his course so as to steer straight for her, because 
now the barrier reef dwindled away. 



2T0 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 



I -! 



•J 

'..■I 



Every heart there but Dick's sent up a fervei 
thanksgiving to God. Whether they had ev( 
professed to know Him or not the impulse ( 
their nature was to thank some Power that ha 
brought about such a salvation as this. But i 
the midst of their joy they suddenly realised th« 
the man upon whose courage, capability an 
unselfishness they had all hung so long now lay 
huddled heap in the stern sheets, unconscious c 
everything. They accelerated their efforts to ge 
alongside the steamer, which had the plai 
blue-and-white Argentine flag flying at he 
stem, and having done so, were insistec 
that the eager crew of the steamer shoul 
first of all hoist their unconscious shipmate o 
board. 

It was done, and the medical ofiicer carried b; 
the Ughthouse tender, for such the vessel was 
exerted himself as efiiciently as he knew how fo 
Dick's benefit. But it took him no long time t( 
discover that the malady was one that did no 
need his skill. Want of food, of drink, of sleep 
of relief from an intolerable burden, had brough 
about the collapse. Please God a supply of al 
these needs might effect a cure. Quien sabei 
If the strain had been on too long the will t( 

live might be gone, in which case here th< 

doctor shrugged his shoulders and turned out tlit 
palms of his hands. 



fl 



SEA MIRACLES J7i 

But, at any rate, Dick was comfortable, and 
Martha declared herself fit to nurse him, sb^e 

an offer which was supplemented by Mrs. White 

st°lf '^' ^"^ '•°°'» •'» the hLsome Sue 
steamer was given up to him, and the two grate- 
ful women took it in turns to nurse the maHho 
?^to?Thr"'^T°^'^'^*^°'*hem. AUtSe 

tTlh ?K '^'■"^'^ '°"P"°y ^"« "" fit as ever 
they had been m the course of the next day, but 
the.r new hosts were full of wonder, ataost 
amounting to incredulity, that they should have 
urmounted such dangers, and won through with 
the loss of only one man. 

Happily the Campanero was on her retnm 
passage to Buenos Ayres. so thaTtJey wouS 

7Z^l%TA-iT''''' "*=^"^'°« th«' "i°ds 
provement. Dr - -,fter day nassed by, and still 

notarAT,^s^,;f^^^^^^^ 

reason why he shouiT " ■'"r '° '"'"* °° 

fi,„ j" ^ snouiii noi v> ot o live. Ind(>f><) 

LSr ""^ "»'' »" ""■""■ '» .»«vi„S 



'i 



272 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

But then the ductor did not know Dick, and 
was not to be blamed, although he was much 
chagrined by the knowledge that when the vessel 
arrived at the great Argentine capital his patient 
was still unconscious, and though given to inno- 
cent babbling, no weaker. 



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CHAPTER XX 

A MYSTERIOUS AILMENT 

EvERYTHiNO that Wealth can command may be 
bought at Buenos Ayres. and much. too. that 
money cannot buy in the way of loving, generous 
service. And when it became known to those 
high in authority there what straits this little 
hand, with two English ladies in it, had fought 
their way through untU an Argentine ship had 
been happy enough to receive them, there was a 
perfect whirl of social excitement, which for a 
time stiUed even the fierce voices of warring 
pohticians. The three passengers and even tlb^ 
SZn.T ™''*^^'■«« °f every comfort and 
3 u ""^ «°'°»' ■" ^«c*' tl^e sailors were 
tSves **'"' ^^" ^'"'^ *"^ '^^ ^ 

Just as the interest began to flag, Dick, who 
m his unconsciousness had been elevated to a 
most heroic height, again became sensible and 
began to mend, but so slowly, so imperfectly, 
that rt seemed very doubtful whether he would 
ever be a hale man again. And the curious thing 
»73 



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S*.^ Rochrjler, N«» Vorli 14609 USA 

^^ (716) *S2 - OJOO - Phone 

^S (''6) 288 - 5989 - Fox 



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274 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

was that it didn't seem to trouble him one I 
His patience and gratitude were great, but it ^ 
impossible to avoid feeling that he would hi 
been just as contented had he been in some t 
kempt hospital ward, indifferently attended 
people who were careless whether he Uved 
died, so utterly listless and satisfied did 
seem. 

While he lay like this, taking little notice 
the many good people who called to see him, a 
apparently more pleased when the sailors cai 
than he was at the sweet faces of Martha and 1 
mother, who never relaxed their attentions I 
an hour, a rumour reached him which speed 
became a certainty. The other two boats' ere 
had arrived, and at Buenos Ayres, too I It i 
vived him like some powerful tonic, and he ask 
eagerly if all were saved. Yes, all, thou, 
unable to speak of the experiences they h 
passed through, were safe and sound, and agt 
the whole city was aflame with this wonder! 
happening, many of the Anglo-Argentic 
claiming it as another proof of the stamina of t 
English race. But they, of course, were serious 
prejudiced. 

That, however, was nothing ; what counted w 
the fact of three boats having survived the sudd( 
loss of their ship in that terrible region, althouj 
the story of the captain and mate's boats co; 



ILOR 

im one bit. 
b, but it was 
would have 
It some iin- 
ittended by 
he lived or 
led did he 

le notice of 
ee him, and 
ailors came 
tha and her 
entions for 
ch speedily 
oats' crews 
oo ! It re- 
ad he asked 
kll, though 
I they had 
, and again 
wonderful 
Argentines 
ooina of the 
re seriously 

ounted was 
the sudden 
I, although 
boats con- 



A MYSTERIOUS AILMENT 875 

tamed no such exciting incidents as did the 
passage which Dick had captained. It apSared 
Jhat on that terrible night when the AVaZld 

^rZ/ ^r '"^•^ °* ^'"'^ '^' captain anS mate 
did hold on longer than Providence dictat«l n„! 
with any hope of saving the ship but ostS 
as much as they could of their o^ valuables fo? 
there was practicaUy no insurance of t^ose thbgs 

Tt ItTt^. "^".■. f""^ "^ '* '=«"'« «b«"t that wS 
at la^ they id leave her. they could see notlbg 

oLl> TJ"' ""*"'' '^"'' »<J ^omng Dick? 
tunity m seekmg her. They made for th^ 
western side of the nearest land in The hoL^? 
tTe sStTf r^r^ '^'^'^ - gettiJ^'^to 

be a^ adtn/ "^ u '^*' '^'^ ^'^' **^«« would 
be an advantage m being to windward. 

itieir experiences were painful and perUous 

but no one of them had succumbed owin^toTh; 

But ;h?v f i^ '^^ ^"^^^^ of «" of them. 
But they frankly admitted that the last S 

SSidXT'""^-^'^'^^*^ *'^^-' -th all thefr 
splendid boatmanship, but for the «„J^«« 



276 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 







can tell what it meant to take it nearly all in, i 
that she might be hove to and pick up thoi 
perishing people. 

But it was well and seamanly done, how wc 
and how skilfully you must take for grantei 
since to explain would be impossible withoi 
inflicting upon unoffending people a mass < 
technical detail which they could not possibl 
understand. No, the temptation is great, bi 
the old sailor yarning about the things thi 
matter at sea does become a bore, because unii 
telligible — the worst sin that a literary man ca 
commit, unless he happen to be a — never mim 
you know the great names I mean. 

So they were all rescued and the boats with tl 
stuff they had saved with so much care wei 
drifting away — you do not hesitate to cut adrii 
even the most valuable belongings when life is i 
stake — the Bsddgelert was kept away again, th 
sail piled on her and all hands felt that a gret 
deed had been nobly done. Thenceforth unt 
the arrival of the smart little packet at Mont 
Video — she had to land them at the neares 
practicable port, since such a drain upon he 
resources and strain upon her accommodation wa 
not to be endured an hour longer than necessar 
— there was nothing to record but their entlr 
admiration of the way in which the beautifi 
little vessel was handled. Although, as Captaii 



A MYSTERIOUS AILMENT 277 

for himself md Ji ,w„ !S "^J '"°™' 
UDon felt «... 1. ■. """ra. Who there- 

^.tn-rerrstt^^ 

e^seieneele. b„,L wilLtte ovt" S 
cXT "' ' 'IT *■" »• - ««htos"l Ste 
wS'hehr/^' '" ""'■' ""»' ">» "hS^ 

First of »ii o.- XL tT: *° *'^*' occasion. 

m^^ests he was paid to look after wt a" '< doo^^ 
w>re, he saw to it that each member of th^ 
crew was weD supplied with clotK and accom 
■nodation. and pocket money. CaptaHnd 




278 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

officers each received in the gentlest and mi 
delicate manner a sum of money covering abc 
six times their losses and their wages for t 
voyage. 

It is a platitude to say that money couldi 
buy such service as we often get, and it is nochii 
less than shameful th so many wealthy m 
and women die, and reward a lifetime of faithi 
service with a sum less than they would, durii 
their lifetime, have spent on a week-end, whi 
leaving hundreds of thousands of pounds 
people already rich. I am happy to say that M 
Williams was free from this vicious taint; ] 
knew all the arguments, had heard all the o 
jections — and acted on the impulse of his osi 
heart. Would to God that some of our miUioi 
aires would do so likewise, there would be le 
class hatred than there is now. 

Now, though all the late crew was provide 
for, Mr. Williams did not lose sight of them 
exerted himself in all legitimate ways to see thi 
they should find good ships to start their life woi 
again. And in dismissing them from our storj 
it is pleasant to record that many of them date 
their first step up the ladder of promotion froi 
that never-to-be-forgotten time, and the know 
ledge that there were men possessing gratefu 
generous hearts as well as means to gratify sue 
pleasant instincts. 



A MYSTERIOUS AILMENT 379 

efforts thus frustrated ^'f^^'J^.^^^f 

with m; St 'J ""^ P™f°"°dly dissatisfied 

me to" esSThe cart 7^^"^ ^f ^ ^^^P*" 
I and the skilfnl alff ^^ ''»'• «« f"'" « 

general paralysis of his TllpowS Tn o'^h " 
words, with every inducementTget JSl tJfh 
the best of nursing— ah sir ! Juf I ' *^ 
untiring nurse is fhat youn^ Sy I-ht Z" '"*; 

C And l"??.f "t* '°^^°*'^« t° live aroJTes 






111 




280 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

"Thank you, doctor," replied Williams: " 
IS very goad of you, and I am most grateful. 

teU me. and have formed my own condusio 
as to what 1 should do. Now I will act."' 

Ihe physician then took his leave, aL 
WiUiams, after sitting for a time in dee 

wlZ J' ? '."'^ "^^ """^ sought Mrs. Whit« 
whom he found as anxious as he was for a cha 
upon the subject nearest their hearts, 
whof dear friend," said he. "I want to knoi 
what you thmk is the matter with poor D^k 
I have my own idea, but you are a ladrand hav. 

o'^rSt'™' ""' ' '''^' ^^ *' '^^ ^o^ 
answered"'"/ °«7"? I^e Wh, and then 
but I can only answer you truthfuUy that I 
beheve he is afraid of my daughter's We She 
feU m love with him, you must know, and at a 
supreme moment, when we all expected death 
ge told him she loved him, and hVkisserher.' 
How he came to rise to that height I don't know. 

word of r °^^%'''^^^d her since, nor uttered on 
word of love. True, the strain on him has been 
tremendous, and I don't wonder that it has 
nearly kiUed him. but he's got better of tha 

his other weakness is worrying him to death. 



A MYSTERIOUS AILMENT 281 

until recentiv j,™ ^^y-^^e years of age, and 

sure that WilliV m.,ni, V . "*' -^ "^1 

applaud my dtSion So h ' ^°"'' ^'^'^' ^'» 
luck!- "^*'*"'''°°- So here goes. Wish me 








CHAPTER XXI 



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A SUBPRISB 

"My dear Martha, will you marry me? " 
It was rather abrupt, to be sure, and the young 
lady's brown eyes opened wide as she looked U 
the kindly smiling face of Mr. Williams, full of 
honesty and quiet fun, as h» put this momentous 
question to her. Of course, for a few seconds 
she could not speak, and when she did, what she 
said was hardly intelligible. So Mr. Williams, 
feeling sorry to have thus embarrassed her, said 
soothingly — 

"Now, my dear, please forgive me for being 
so sudden, but I am a man of decision. As long 
as I felt there was a chance that you and Dick 
would marry, I stood back, for though I have 
been very fond of you for a long time, I didn't 
feel that I would kill anybody that came between 
us, or want to go about looking daggers and 
poison. I'm not that sort. But now I know that 
poor Dick, who I'm fonder of than you can 
imagine, is done for as far as an active life is 
concerned, and that he can't even get up any 
more unless he's sure that he won't drag you 
183 



o 



A SURPriSE S8S 

down to his sick bed. I Lit that I must ask you. 
and I have— and what do you say? " 

The gentle tears began to flow. Softly the 
words came, "I have always liked you very 
much, but I oved poor Dick. Indeed, I stepped 

loved me-I feel -ure that he could never love 
any woman. And I-and I can't help feeling 

ohl Mr. Wilhams. what can I say? I f^i «, 

£tT.«*~"*^'^'^^- The doctor seems to 
think he'U never get any better. " 

"He'll get better now, my dear, when he 

lauXi M 'Z^f ^ "' «'*''"^ *° be'marrTed." 
laughed Mr. Vv iUiams gaily. 

She looked at him strangely and her face took 
ou a new expression which, if not dislike, was 
very near it. And who could blame her? t£ 
Minti^est woman that ever lived could hai 
leam that she had offered her hea.. to a man 
who was not only Incapable of appreciating^ 
i^T'/.^u"* ^"^ "^*"""-' '«»«i ill for fear 
grtt. In that moment the last lingering snark 

ToLT^ 't^ u"™^ *° her old friend ane. newly 
eS"^ '^"f '^d with a bright smile and an 
expression of perfect satisfaction, 
''o It was settled, and the happy man betook 



I'm • 



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384 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

himself to Dick's sofa, where he lay, as usual, 
the picture of patient endurance, with the air ol 
a man to whom nothing matters. His friend 
advanced upon him, and seizing both his 
withered-looking hands, cried — 

" Come 1 up you get. I've good news for you. 
Martha has promised to marry me whenever I 
like, and I like as soon as it can be arranged. 
And I want you to be best man at the wedding. 
You've been lying around here long enough. And 
now pull yourself together, and show that you are 
still alive and mean to remain so. Aren't you 
glad? Andif not, why not?" 

The bewildered man looked at his friend with 
dazed eyes, as if he feared that something had 
happened to Lake him oflf his balance temporarily. 
But, seeing no change, save a brightening and 
brisking up of the whole man, there came a ne^r 
light into his own faded eyes, a new vigour into 
his frame, and he stood upon his feet, moistening 
his dry lips. At last he said huskily— 

" Oh, Mr. Williams, you have made me feel 
very glad. I'm a poor creature after aU, and 
somehow lately I've been all gone inside, as if I 

couldn't go on living — ^and — and " 

He could get out no more, and Williams 
respected his difficulty, while at the same time 
feeling how strange it all was. However, the 
strange part of it wa;, that from that moment 



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A SURPRISE 



287 
Dick appeared to revive, to take a new hold of 

ilth''"'.?" *° ^'^ "*^"*' *°°'^ his food with 
something like appetite and entered into aU the 
arr^gements for the wedding with a subdued 

rs^-rLSird:;!!'^^^^'^-'^-^^--^- 

.* -ly one would think he was rigging a shin 
fallo"'"^"* '* "'' '° ^"'^^ afusiLss.Sfe 

thJ nM*^ °T '°°* ''^^"'^ "" °* them were on 
the old famihar unembarrassed footing, such as 
obtained on bo«u-d the ship. Yet that hardly 

been t^ " • t° *^' T"' ^^^° *hen there had 
been restramt. something held back; now there 
was nathing except that none of them eveT cared 
toshow Dick the pitying look their eyes held foj 
bym. As we look upon a man who enters a room 
from which he wiU never emerge alivr^Xv 

Tt\ul u' "°'^^"''' ^°y •* ^«« but seldom 

each of th^Jr^V^^""*^' ^°' ^* ''^^'"^l that to 
each of them had come such a peaceful solution 

for Ev?" W^^r "" t^ ""'"^'y *^"«<» t« hope 
tor. Even Wilhe, who was incUned to rebel 

yinst what seemed to him to be a cruel stiSK 

lostt/^"°f '^' "'^ ^' ^°^«^ hest on earth! 
lost his resentment against the successful man 
and agam accorded him that whole-hearted h^kg 



I ■ ' 



288 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

he had always held for him before the loss of tl 
ship. 

If Williams had a prominent fault, it was oi 
that commands a great deal of sympathet 
respect from those who are not actually i: 
commoded by it — he was so masterful that 1 
hardly recognised a hindrance to his wishes, 
being a man of strong common-sense, he w 
perfectly conscious that his enormous wealth ga^ 
him the power denied to most men — to all, ii 
deed, who must consider ways and means. S 
when on the next day he suddenly entered tl 
private sitting-room where Mrs. White ar 
Martha, Willie and Dick were comfortah 
chatting, his manner prepared his friends for 
sudden move of importance. 

" This is Tuesday ; if the wedding takes pk 
on Friday, we can sail next Tuesday in tl 
Illimani from Monte Video for home, can 
we?" 

Eight pairs of eyes looked upon him i 
they might have done upon a messenger froi 
Mars, marvelling, uncomprehending. Bi 
Mrs. White regained her speech first, sayiu 
gravely — 

"John, you are surely not serious? How ca 
we prepare for a wedding and a voyage in 
week? " 

" As to preparation, my dear mother, you wi 



A SURPRISE SS9 

?n°*;h.-T *i"* °''^ ^°' ^""y y""- Fortunately, 
m this land one need not wait till dinner-time fo^ 
anything to be done, and I have this moaning 
arranged for the wedding dress, the weZg! 
reception, banquet, and passage home. And al 

S ilT/'"'- '"'^ '' ^ y°" *"« '-dies to 
f^ r!u ^, '"^T^^'' "* ^^^ '^°«'' «°d drive off 

dido s estabhshment you wiU find aU is readv 
for^you. And the rest is my funeral, so to 

There was nothing really to say. Obedience 
aTdTfiff '^"^'^*^*^' ^'^ ^'^^ obvious eoure: 
and the three men were on their way in another 
diction for a pleasant drive, as if their o^fy 
ob ect was to waste time. But once well awav 
WiUiams told his two friends that undlrlylng a^l 
h. seemingly childish hurry was the ste'rnTc 

wi h The 2 rf ' ^^'^ "*y ^^"I'J be ablaze 
with the ghastly fires of revolution, unsafe for 
any law-abiding person, and he proposed re 

Wiff rali '^ '^'' 'r. ^'^-fro'mTlimt 
Willie rather anxiously inquired whether he 
was sure that peace would last so long but 

deati'^ 1 r'^ '^'' ^^^'^'^^ -- «"re save 
protrb ^" *«-««th-er. after the Spanish 

Thenceforward events moved rapidly but 



290 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

smoothly, as they usually do when a w 
organiser, with unlimited funds, is pulling t 
strings. In fact, four people were carried pi 
the possibility of surprise, so evenly and beau 
fully did one development succeed another, ui 
the evening when they stepped from the riv( 
boat on to the deck of the fine Pacific M 
steamer IlliTnani, and found that all the h 
cabins in the big ship had been reserved for thei 
and apparently the whole staff of the ship \^ 
waiting to receive what was felt must be a Ro] 
party. , 

When they retired below, the sweetly cc 
tented bride said to her pleasantly gra 
hiisband — 

" John, dear, I am ever so happy, yet I cai 
help feeling that you are spending a terri 
amount of money. Can you afford it? and 
you could, is it wise? " 

His eyes sparkled as he looked up at her a 
answered, "My dear wife, if I had chosen 
buy the ship to take us home and another 11 
her to attend upon us, the cost would not ha 
affected me more than buying a suit of clotl 
does a rich man. I am not only enormously ri 
but I have never spent more than a quarter p 
cent, of my income — I didn't care to. Now 
am spendmg a little because it makes you happ 
and at the same time gives me a fresh interest 



A SURPaiSE 291 

SLA°^ ^ ^ ^"° ^'"^ «°^« *° ""'^^ this the 

If he was not as good as his word it was not for 

£^kT»M*''T ^'^ P^^^°»"« ^^ been 
booked at the calhng ports, but those who had 

were made to feel the joyous spirit in the air 
And when in due course Liverpool was reached, 
the cheers which resounded from the ship's 
company over the muddy waters of the Mersey, 
as he happy little band went over the side, were 
full of heartfelt praise for the noble geneVrsS^ 
or a truly wise man. 
A sptcial train was -.raiting for them and they 

ZLZ .^^""'^ T**^' *^'°"8h **»« lovely 
autmnn weather amid fields of golden com. 
cottages ablaze with flowers, and orchards where 
the boughs were pendant with ripening fruit 
They just sat and gazed, full of content, but none 

S^Krf''^ " ^^^'^' '^^""^^ ^^ '^"^ — 
Yet. strange to say. it seemed to satisfy a 

nVhl l^^^'r?*."^** °^ ^' '^"t^^^- Never 

Ln A "^^ ^"^ ^^ ^"^ '^""J happy until 

then Occasionally remarks addressed to him 

shahf V"** -^"v.'. ""'^ ^""^ **">* «° occasional 
Slight change m his position showed that he was 

alZ,^°n°"'' ^ *"^°^' "^^"^^ have been 
alarmed. It was not unnatural. Returning from 



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292 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

America once myself I travelled from Liverpool 
to Euston with two Portuguese, who had spent 
many years in the Sandwich Islands, and I can 
never forget their entranced delight at what they 
saw. Their oft-repeated remark, " It is one big 
garden," will never leave my memory, and when 
we parted they assured me again and again that 
never in all their journeyings had they enjoyed 
such exquisite pleasure before. 

The special train drew up at Tiverton Junction 
and there a beautiful roomy omnibus carriage 
with a pair of splendid horses awaited them. 
They were all by this time so accustomed to 
miraculous happenings that they evinced no 
surprise at this, but they all felt very happy as 
the big vehicle rumbled through the scented 
lanes in the warm darkness. But even their 
experience was not proof against the marvel of 
the sudden appearance of a brilliantly-lighted 
porch lined with willing servants and a stately 
couple, he in evening dress and silk knee- 
breeches, and she in black silk, who welcomed 
them into a vast hall, where a huge fire 
of logs was blazing and reflecting itself in 
a thousand wonderful things on the walls, 
and even in the polished beams of the vaulted 
roof. 

Turning to his beautiful wife, Williams said 
in a strange voice, " Welcome home, dear wife ! 



A SURPRISE 



298 



Welcome to our home, dear friends! Mrs. 
Benson Trevithick, this is my wife, and these 
are my dearest friends," and he sank upon the 
nearest seat and put his hands to his eyes. 

That blessed weakness was only momentary, 
♦'or almost immediately he sprang to his feet and 
began issuing orders which sounded like requests, 
with a single eye to everybody's comfort, and in a 
few minutes every guest was being conducted to 
rooms prepared for them, while he and his wife 
took possession of their own. Into that retreat 
we cannot follow them, except to hear John 
Williams say to his wife, "Martha, dear one, 
God has been abundantly good to us. So in 
recognition of that ^reat fact you and I will 
try and be good to His people. We will give 
banquets to those who need them, seek out 
the suffering and speechless poor and do them 
good, and make sure that not one farthing of 
all we give shall go to the fostering of wicked- 
ness, laziness or debauchery. So God help us. 
Amen. " 

Dick, being conducted to his bedroom, a 
beautiful apartment containing all that a man 
could need, whether well or ill, for a day at least, 
looked around it and came to the conclusion that 
it was time he was in bed ; and when the footman 
came to tell him dinner was ready he was fast 
asleep. The man descended and told the butler, 



294 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 




who made the matter known to Mr. Williams. 
They were all waiting in the drawing-room for 
Dick, all having forgotten that he knew nothing 
of social observances. Then Williams flushed, 
and blamed himself, saying — "Poor chap! 
What an ass I am I However, he was wisest." 
Then to the butler, " Let him alone, he is very 
tired." 

Recognising, as they did, that it was the best 
plan to allow Dick to rest even upon such an 
auspicious home-coming as theirs, the happy 
little party gave themselves up to a quiet enjoy- 
ment of the pure pleasures that surrounded them. 
Truly they were able to appreciate them to the 
full, having such a ftmd of experience in the 
immediate past to draw upon, but every fresh 
reminiscence only drew them back to the sleeping 
man upstairs. And there were none of them 
that for one moment wished it otherwise. If, 
however, there was one among them who was 
more deeply, fervently happy in thus recalling 
the brave doings of their friend, it was John 
Williams. 

This, though strange perhaps to some minds, is 
strictly in accordance with all precedent in such 
matters. In every day life it is the commonest 
experience to find folks whose only reason for 
loving and honouring and heaping benefits upon 
a certain man, or woman, or child, is that they 



A SURPRISE 



tw 



were once able to render the recipient a great 
service without hope or thought of return. And 
that act has begotten an overmastering desire to 
continue so doing, a desire that breeds a pure 
love such as inflamed the heart of John Williams 
for Dick. 




V' < 



1:' .1 



I', ][■ 



CHAPTER XXII 



CONCLUSION 



At breakfast next mormag great was the 
amazement when Dick presented himself. A 
new Dick, from whom all the old deadness and 
lethargy had fallen Uke some poisoned garment ; 
whose eye was bright and bearing purposeful as 
if a miracle had been wrought upon him during 
the night. So great and noticeable was the 
change that even Williams was dumb for a tune, 
and It was not until a series of funny mistakes, 
such as putung salt in tea and sugar on eggs, had 
been made that heaven-sent laughter came to the 
rescue and cleared the atmosphere of mystery. 

"What's happened to you, Dick? " blurted 
out his friend. " I have never seen such a change 
in a man. You seem to have taken a new lease 
of life during the night. I knew our Devon air 
was mighty good, but I didn't give it aU that 
credit." 

"No," replied Dick, "it isn't the air. It is 

that when I awoke at daylight this morning I 

knew in some strange way what I have to do, and 

I felt that I had the strength to do it. First of 

396 



CONCLUSION 297 

dl. I can't stop here wasting the opportunity 
rlw 8'ven me. I must go to sea again and 
do what good I can-there's i ^m enough for it 
heaven knor/s. " ** ' 

fif"T^'":rj""''1.^'"'""«' "if yo"'« quite 

tot I don \ know but you're right. I've been 
togunng on you being rather like a clock with 
Its hair-spnng damaged, able to go but unfit to be 
of any use. And I thought of you coiling up 

I^TJ:^^ ^"' *°' '^' '''' °' ^""^ ^' '° P^'ce^ 
There was a whole volume in the way that 

eKs'cSi!'*'"^' '™"^ ""'^ -^J^ ^^^^-i 
"Never, dear friend, never! If ever I felf 

have been responsible, anyhow. Now, however 
nothmg can be further from my thoughts or 
wishes han such a backing down, and Fm off Z 
sea again at the earliest." • »«« ^ m off to 

2i:rce!Tirm-s^e^'o^^^--^^^'-^^- 

ThS'L"^"" T ™"'* *f° ""'^ P*^^ f«' mate. 
inatU be easy for you. By that time T'll 

have a good ship for you. Becau^ *al Zgh I 

know very well you're quite capable of paddhng 

your own dugout, there's no harm in having ! 



hr TJ- 



; 1 



IH 



298 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

ship where you know you'll have a free hand a 
far as your crew is concerned. Besides, you'l 
like Willie here for third mate, and you'd hsrdl; 
be able to manage that without Don Dineri 
behind you. Oh, money isn't a bad thing whei 
you use it right 1 " 

To this Dick could have no possible objection 
indeed, anything that furthered his heart' 
desire, that of doing some good to hi; fellov 
seamen, was welcome to him. Mrs. White wa 
the only unhappy one of the party, for thi 
thought of parting with her beloved son wa 
almost more than she could bear, and she wa 
perilously near hating Dick because of hii 
innocent influence over WiUie. All remon 
strances and arguments were in vain, for thej 
beat hopelessly against the Gibraltar of matema 
selfishness, which is often ready to sacrifice a deai 
son's future if only he can be kept at home an<3 
mothered— that is, kept utterly 'onfit to dc 
anything in the world. 

However, Willie, backed by Mr. Williams, 
was adamant, and the beginning of the new week 
saw Dick and he in London in comfortable 
lodgings, and full of enthusiasm over the coming 
voyage, wherever it might be for. As might 
have been expected, Dick passed the examination 
for chief mate with flying colours— it has only 
terrors for the waster who expects to cram 



CONCLUSION 2g9 

nautical knowledge in a fortnight— and, in reply 
to Dick's letter acquainting Williams with the 
fact, came a letter announcing his appoint- 
ment to the Hadrian, four-masted ship. Captain 
Custance, loading in the East Indian Docks for 
Panama. 

Willie and Dick only skimmed the letter 
before they made all haste on board, and found 
her to be, as far as they could see, the finest ship 
of their experience. The captain was on board 
and, l^ing told by the steward of his visitors, 
greeted them very warmly. He was loud in his 
praises of the generosity with which his new 
owner had treated him— never before in all his 
life had he been given such pay or had so lavish 
a hst of stores, both for officers and crew. 

" And besides," he went on, " there is a bonus 
for each officer at the end of the voyage, 12 
completed successfully. You may be sure, Mr. 
Mort, that I am only too glad to welcome you, 
even though I understand you are a considerable 
shareholder, having heard so glowing an account 
of you from the agents. I am not in the least 
jealous— all I crave for is efficiency, and the 
better a man is the more I love and admire him, 
even if he shows me by his life what a poor thing 
I am as compared with him. Now let's have a 
look round the ship." 
Closer acquaintance with her only confirmed 



'hi 



800 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

Dick in his first impression, that the Hadrian was 
as fine a ship as ever floated, and, when he heard 
what was to be the number of the crew and saw 
their accommodation, his heart swelled with 
gratitude. But then sadness claimed him again 
as he thought of the poor wastrels, such as he 
once was, whom he must ruthlessly reject on 
every account. Such a ship and such an owner 
mur ^ have the very best that could be procured 
in . -n as she already had in material. And so 
it came about that when the Hadrian 
sailed she was already well on her way to 
a successful voyage, because man had done 
his best to help and not hinder that desirable 
end. 

It can hardly be wondered at, therefore, that 
the noble Hadrian returned from her 50,000-mile 
trip in the shortest time on record, having 
made what Captain Custance truly called, in his 
valedictory address to the crew, a perfect yacht- 
ing voyage— a voyage whereof every member of 
the ship's company spoke to the last day of his 
life as the happiest he had ever made. Good 
seamanship, good pay, good grub, good ship and 
good weather— why, such a combination made 
the voyage seem like an episode from an ocean 
paradise ! 

As ah-eady arranged, Dick went up for his 



CONCLUSION 801 

master's ticket on his arrival home, but during 
the latter part of the voyage ho had been 
thinkmg deeply over his present happiness, and 
had come to the conclusion that he had no right 
to so much, while those who, like him in his early 
days at sea, were the wretched dregs of the 
profession had Uterally no one to care for them, 
and knew not how to care for themselves. 
Ihrough a series of miracles he had been raised 
from that sad abyss, and also been made to feel 
that he always might count upon knowing that 
he had the weight of an enormous mass of money 
behind him. 

Therefore, not being able to hide from himself 
the painful look of expectancy upon the face of 
his beloved skipper, he took the earUest op- 
portumty after he had told Captain Custance 
ot his success in passing, to put the latter's 
apprehensions at rest. 

"Captain," he said, "I know you feel doubt- 
ful whether I'm not going to oust you from 
command now, and I don't wonder. But be 
comforted, no such thing is going to happen. 
Indeed, it need not in any case, for another ship 
could easily be obtained for me; only I am not 
going to sea any more ! " 

A little time was aUowed by Dick to let this 
announcement soak in, and truly it staggered his 



802 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 



■ 

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'i ;M 

1' aoi 
1' H 




i 


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^ 


1 




' 


1 


} 


( 1 
1 




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I s . 


s ,i, ; 


kj 





friend the skipper, who could say nothing ii 
reply, but only stared as if stupidly. So Did 
resumed — 

" No ; much as I love the sea, and happy as ] 
have been with you, I feel a duty laid upon m< 
that I can't, no, nor I won't, neglect. I've gol 
to do something for the wasters that make theii 
own and their oflBcers' lives a biu*den at sea 
And I am going down into Devon to-morrow tc 
tell my friend Williams of my determination— 
and I know he'll do whatever I want. Mean- 
while, I leave Willie with you. You know how 
good he is, and I'm sure you'll help him all you 
know to get his ticket when his time's in. He'I 
get to the top of the ladder quickly enough, 
though parting with his old friend ha! 
been a terrible wrench to both of us. Well 
good-bye." 

" Good-bye, good man," faltered the captain. 
"You'll never know how great a load you've 
lifted oflF my heart. May you get yoiu- heart's 
desire." 

The next day Dick and Mr. Williams were 
closeted together for four hours settling the 
details of Dick's scheme for the well-being oi 
his fellows. Williams was repeatedly amazed af 
Dick's grasp of the details of his subject, and 
very soon determined to give him a free hand and 



CONCLUSION 



808 



an open account to draw upon as he liked, 
satisfied that he would make good all that either 
of them had ever dreamed— that is, as far as the 
machinery was concerned. 

Within a year, aU was in working order, a 
home for wastrels of the sea where those most 
welcome were those most in need of a welcome 
anywhere. Where the old-fashioned virtues of 
manhness, diligence, unselfishness and devotion 
to discip.ine were taught, and no man was led to 
believe that by a whining profession he could get 
favours withheld from those who were deserving 
but honest. 

Now Dick was in his element. It was the 
hardest task he had ever undertaken, but he was 
pre-eminently fitted for it by his experience. 
No case was too degraded, no man too worthless 
to be tackled by Dick, whose only boast was his 
pnme quahfication for understanding the ne;;ds 
of the lowest, seeing that he had been one of 
them himself. And his own -toiy, which he was 
never tired of telling, instt . of attempting to 

Sy. "^"'"^"^ ''™'" "' '^'^ P"* '* 

A certain measure of success has crowned, is 
crowning his efforts. Not enough to make him 
unduly elated, if that were possible. Many dis- 
appomtments, many a set-back, but on the 




804 THE SALVAGE OF A SAILOR 

whole, such a life of dynar"ic love as makes Die 
Mort one of the happiest men on earth, an 
causes John Williams to rub his hands an 
rejoice that ever he undertook the Salvage of 
Sailor. 



Ilj'j'j. .: 



THE END 




XUIiari day t ggtu, Umilid, Imtdm and Am^y. 



LOR 

takes Dick 
;arth, and 
lands and 
Ivage of a